Groups supporting a 30th March demonstration in Brussels for the right to self-determination in the EU today insisted that their claim is based on democracy. The organizations argued that European institutions should assume that the principle of self-determination helps in peacefully solving independence demands within the EU.
International Commission of European Citizens (ICEC, one of the groups calling to demonstrate) Spokeswoman Anna Arqué explained that the demonstration should be understood as yet another proposal for disseminating political "pedagogy" in Europe.On the one hand, Arqué said that European citizens should be aware that any "difficulty or threat" faced by European peoples who want to hold a referendum on independence (as is the case in Catalonia, where Spain holds that a vote on the matter scheduled for November will not be allowed to take place) does not only impact the residents of that people, but also all European citizens, "since it is their democratic right which is being violated".
Arqué called European institutions to "assume the political principles of justice, equality, freedom and democracy as their own", given that those principles are in fact the foundations of those institutions, which "should be guaranteeing those rights". Talking about self-determination, ICEC Spokeswoman also warned: "We are not going to Brussels to ask for any right, but to defend the exercise of that right".
The demonstration is supported by several organizations from European stateless nations. It also has the support by the European Free Alliance and several pro-sovereignty Catalan parties (CDC, ERC, ICV, EUiA and CUP). ICEC Spokeswoman said this is a "European framework" event since, at the moment, "more than 20 million Europeans are living a self-determination process". Arqué quoted Scotland, the Basque Country and Flanders as examples.
ICEC: EU peoples' demands and Crimean scenario have nothing to do
Talking about Crimea, Arqué said that EU peoples' demands and "cannot be linked" to the situation on the Black Sea peninsula. On the one hand, because the March 30th demonstration is stricly framed within the EU borders. And on the other, because it is linked to "majority demands for self-determination and creating independent states", not on "annexing" parts of countries to any other state. "The model is Scotland", Arqué insisted.
Talking about the Catalan case, CIEMEN President Carles Riera said that "the only problem is Spain's deep democratic deficit" in front of an "impeccably democratic process". Riera demanded greater democracy in the EU so that "the peoples of Europe can exercise self-determination" within the European framework.