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Academy Building
Broerstraat 5

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An Independent Catalonia?

College Tour with Carles Puigdemont
Carles Puigdemont, interviewed by Tim Huiskes

This event is sold out! We won't sell tickets at the door, but there is a live stream. The link will show on this website and at

The on-going crisis in Catalonia has brought international attention to the functioning of both the region and Europe as a whole. The latest vote on independence on 1 October 2017 was declared illegal by Spain's constitutional court and lead both to a unilateral declaration of independence and a subsequent suspension of regional autonomy. What followed – forbidden referendums, imposed elections, police brutality, imprisonment and exile of elected politicians and artists, suspension of elected governments, media manipulations, international legal battles -, are words we would prefer not to be associated with any member of the European Union.

In this College Tour, one of the main protagonists, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, shares his experiences on the past and current events, his ideas and vision about the future of Catalonia and Europe, and his proposals about finding ways to unblock a situation that is affecting us all in Europe. He will be interviewed by Tim Huiskes and will answer audience questions.

Is this just a case of severe regional quarrels, or does it concern all of us in Europe? Why are these Catalan citizens in the street by the thousands every week? Do they really want to create a new European State? What is their motivation for that? Why is the dialogue between Spain and Catalonia at a deadlock? If there is to be a separate Catalan Republic, what kind of State philosophy will this new country have? Is this a populist, xenophobic, unsolidary and nationalistic movement from a rich region in the South of Europe we need to protect ourselves from? A Catalexit? Or a civic, inclusive, democratic and pacifist movement we can all be inspired by?

Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó is a Catalan politician and journalist from Spain, currently living in Belgium. A former Mayor of Girona, Puigdemont served as President of the Government of Catalonia from January 2016 to October 2017 when he was removed from office by the Spanish Government following the unilateral Catalan declaration of independence. He is chair of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) and leader of the Junts per Catalunya (JuntsxCat) electoral alliance.

Tim Huiskes is the president of the University Council of the University of Groningen, lecturer in International Relations and International Organization at the Faculty of Law and researcher for Globalisation Studies. His areas of expertise are, among others, European Cooperation & Integration, European Integration & Disintegration, International Politics and European Politics & Society.

After the college tour, Carles Puigdemont will sign the Dutch translation of his book, De Catalaanse Crisis, in the book stand of Van der Velde Boeken.

This College Tour is organized in collaboriation with Minorities & Multilingualism of the University of Groningen.

Photo: Uitgeverij Lannoo.

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