Independence via fait accompli

Throughout history, the most frequent method of achieving independence for aspiring states has been by means of faits accomplis or unilaterally. We can find examples in all kinds of contexts, more or less distant from the Catalan case.  At this time of disorientation for the Catalan pro-independence movement, in which the unilateral path is not the hegemonic option, and with intense media pressure and different lobby groups trying to impose the idea that unilateralism has no place in the Catalan context, and that it failed in October 2017, it is necessary to put unilateral independence back into the sphere of public debate and put forth arguments that reinforce it. Learning from the experiences of other states and their unilateral secession processes can help put the unilateral path back at the center of the debate and gain insights into how to achieve the independence of Catalonia.

That is why the Catalan National Assembly is organizing the “Congress of Precedent Cases of Unilateral Independence”, which will deal with the independence processes of the Baltic republics and Slovenia, since they are geographically and chronologically close to Catalonia—this year is the 30th anniversary of their independence, and for having been achieved in the face of much more demographically powerful states, and through democratic deluge and civil disobedience. To this end, these processes will be analyzed from points of view such as economics, defense and security, international relations, the constituent processes, or the strategies of civil disobedience, in order to draw learning that may be useful for the Catalan independence case.



17 h – 18:30 h

Inaugural Conference:  “Comparative historical perspectives”

With the participation of international speakers Dmitrij Rupel (Slovenia), Ülo Lanooja (Estonia) and Vents Armands Krauklis (Latvia). Presented and moderated by Vilaweb journalist and director Vicent Partal, the event will have an initial welcome speech by Assemblea President Elisenda Paluzie.         

 This will be broadcast via Assemblea’s  YouTube and Facebook channels (Language: English).

19 h – 20:30 h

Workshop 1: “Political independence and the monetary question”

Speaker: Xavier Cuadras              
Presented and moderated by: Jordi Galí, Director and Senior Researcher of the Center for Research in International Economics (CREI). Professor of the Department of Economics and Business at Pompeu Fabra University.

The economic implications of independence processes are factors that inevitably occupy a central place in the debates between their supporters and opponents, and play a fundamental role in terms of the future development potential of the new states. In this sense, the aim of this first session will be to analyze the monetary dimension of the transitions in the Baltic countries and Slovenia, from forming parts of a state to becoming independent states, with a comparative perspective that includes the study of other cases.

Closed meeting via Zoom, attendance will require prior registration, limited access. (Language: Catalan).



9:30 h – 11 h

Workshop 2:International Relations and Internationalization Strategy”

Speakers: Jordi Arrufat and Ülo Laanoja               
Presented and moderated by: Aleida Bertran, PhD student at the Latvian Academy of Culture

The strategies and actions for the internationalization of the respective causes for the independence of the Baltic countries will be addressed within the framework of this session, the use of soft power and adaptation to the geopolitical context of the late 1980s and early 1990s, drawing parallels with the strategies they pursued in becoming independent for the first time in the twentieth century after World War I, with the collapse of the Russian Empire.

Closed meeting via Zoom, attendance will require prior registration, limited access. (Language: English).        


11:30 h – 13:00 h

Workshop 3:Security and defense”


Speaker: Dani Soler       
Presented and moderated by: Diana Coromines, former government officer at the Catalan Government Delegation to the Baltic States

This workshop will focus on the main lessons learned in the field of the military, especially regarding the role played by the armed forces during their respective self-determination processes, the creation of their own armed forces in the Baltic countries and Slovenia after their independence and the defense models developed and implemented in each case.

Closed meeting via Zoom, attendance will require prior registration, limited access. (Language: Catalan).


14 h – 15:30 h

Workshop 4:Constituent processes”

Speakers: Albert Noguera i Eulàlia Pascual
Presented and moderated by:  Oriol Bernat, ANC Baltic states coordinator      

This session will analyze the constituent processes and the pressure of the constituent assemblies of Popular Fronts and other political actors, the models of organization of constitutional power, and in the case of the Baltic countries, the historical continuity in relation to the Constitutions of the its periods of independence prior to World War II and annexation by the Soviet Union.

Closed meeting via  Zoom, attendance will require prior registration, limited access. (Language: Catalan).


16 h – 17:15 h

Workshop 5:Civil disobedience and strategies of territorial control”

Speaker: Ramon Grosfoguel       
Presented and moderated by: Carles Suarez, former ANC England coordinator      

This workshop will analyze the strategies, methodologies and actions of civil disobedience carried out during the years of struggle for independence, especially in the Baltic countries, including nonviolent protests, actions of non-cooperation or resistance to the intervention of the occupying military forces which, together with the institutional action at parliamentary level were decisive to achieve their objectives.

Closed meeting via Zoom, attendance will require prior registration, limited access. (Language: Spanish).


18 h – 19 h Closing session

In the closing session, the learnings and experiences addressed during the different workshops and in the inaugural Conference will be outlined, interpreting them in the national  context and  the historical moment in which Catalonia  finds itself today.

Speakers: Elisenda Paluzie, Catalan National Assembly president, and Joana Pujol, Catalan National Assembly international committee coordinator

Presented and moderated by: Roger Tugas, journalist at the Catalan media Nació Digital.            

This will be broadcast via Assemblea’s YouTube and Facebook channels (Language: Catalan).

Dimitrij Rupel

(Ljubljana, Socialist Republic of Slovenia, 1946). Minister of Foreign Affairs during the independence process of Slovenia (1990-1993) and later between 2000 and 2008, and Mayor of the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, between 1994 and 1998, He was a spokesman for the international observers during the Catalan referendum on October 1, 2017.

Ülo Laanoja

(Tallinn, Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1953). He was one of the organizers of the Baltic Way, which in 1989 preceded the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He was a leader of the Estonian Popular Front and a member of the country’s first independent parliament for the Democratic Workers’ Party, which later integrated into the Social Democratic Party of which Laanoja was vice-president. Former Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He has been a supporter of the independence of Catalonia for years.

Vents Armands Krauklis

(Valka, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1964). Latvian politician, former deputy, mayor of the town of Valka, bordering Estonia. Defender of the Catalan cause. During the years of the process of independence of Latvia he led the regional branch in Valka of the Latvian Popular Front.        

Albert Noguera

(Barcelona, 1978) jurist and political scientist, specialized in constituent processes and constitutionalism, professor of constitutional law at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Member of the Ruptura group, He was an adviser to the Constituent Assembly of Bolivia (2006-2008) and to the Presidency of the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador (2008), participating in the technical drafting commissions of the two constituent assemblies.      

Eulàlia Pasqual

(Barcelona, 1954). PhD in Law from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Researcher in Human Rights specializing in International Criminal Justice and Gender Violence in Armed Conflict. President of the Board of Directors of the Association for the United Nations of Spain (ANUE). Member of the International Criminal Justice and Human Rights Commission of the Barcelona Bar Association, she has been president of the Catalan Federation of NGOs for Human Rights and a member of the Board of the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP).

Jordi Arrufat-Agramunt

(Tortosa, 1979). Politòleg amb experiència en comerç internacional i soft power. Va exercir la diplomàcia pública a escala subestatal fins a principis del 2018, i està especialitzat en els Estats Bàltics, una regió d’Europa que ha estudiat i treballat sobre el terreny com a part de responsabilitats anteriors. És autor del llibre “Del camí bàltic al referèndum català”.   

Xavier Cuadras

(Igualada, 1956). PhD. in Economics, University of York.  Professor at the Department of Economics and Business at UPF since 2001, affiliated professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE), and Director of the ESCI-UPF International Business School. His research interests include Monetary Theory and History, Financial History and Health Economics.Since 2019 he has been the Director of IDESCAT, the  Statistical Institute of Catalonia.       

Daniel Soler

(Cardedeu, 1983). Founding member of the Defense sector of the ANC (2012) and of the Society for Military Studies (2014), co-author of the book Política de defensa i Estat propi (Defense Policy and an Independent State).

Ramón Grosfoguel

(Puerto Rico, 1956). Puerto Rican sociologist and activist, member of the Modernity/Colonialism Group (M/C Group) of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.