_ Editorial.- “The Spanish Constitution cannot integrate more arbitrary identity accounts without compromising the political principle from which it emanates and confers meaning and legitimacy to it"
_ Rodríguez Bereijo: “The challenge of the Spanish Constitution and State is a reform that allows us to address the challenges of belonging to the EU”
_ Fernández Pasarín: “Secessionism simply does not belong in a Europe which aims to an increasingly closer rapprochement of peoples”
_ Thomas: “Independence and its future relationship with the European Union requires some thinking”
_ Cuenca Miranda addresses the Quebec issue and how it waned due to the 1998 ruling of the Supreme Court and the Clarity Act
The journal Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político, published by FAES Foundation and directed by Javier Zarzalejos, its secretary general, celebrates its tenth anniversary with the publication of its 40th issue. In the editor’s note that introduces the issue, FAES claims that “the Spanish Constitution cannot integrate more arbitrary identity accounts without inevitably compromising the political principle from which it emanates and which confers meaning and legitimacy to it”.
Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político was born in October 2003 aiming to be a publication open to serious and rigorous analyses regarding the global political, economic, social and intellectual reality. Its authors are professors, intellectuals and figures of the cultural and political spheres who share a common vision on freedom and democracy.
FAES emphasizes in its editor’s note of the 40th issue the existence of economic data which allow a “cautious” glimpse of the beginning of the country’s recovery. It also highlights that the objective now is to consolidate the process in order to recover employment and wealth. Nevertheless, according to the Foundation, “that challenges that Spain has to face are much more than just economic”. The editorial states that “the challenges to constitutional legality and to institutions are not going to abate” and that trying to go beyond the flexibility and interpretation of the Spanish political system “would cause an irreparable damage to the legal and sociological foundations of the State”.
The Foundation asserts that “the Spanish Constitution of 1978 cannot integrate more arbitrary identity accounts like the ones spread by nationalism in its recent radicalization, nor can it integrate new asymmetry claims without inevitably compromising the political principle from which it emanates and which confers meaning and legitimacy to it”. The editorial concludes that “it is not only that the challenges that must be faced are many but also that the scope for action is limited and confined to the instruments chosen to do what needs to be done”.
Other articles in this 40th issue of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político are: 'Las reformas necesarias para España. La Constitución y la articulación territorial del Estado español' (The reforms needed by Spain. The Spanish Constitution and territorial organisation of the Spanish State), by Álvaro Rodríguez Bereijo; 'El valor de la Unión en contra de la secesión' (The value of the Union against secession) by Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín; the second part of 'Canadá y la cuestión de Quebec' (Canada and the Quebec issue), by Alfonso Cuenca Miranda; 'Europa en tiempos inciertos. España y el Reino Unido frente a la idea de Europa' (Europe in uncertain times. Spain and the United Kingdom before the idea of Europe), byHugh Thomas; 'El reformismo durante la Transición española' (Reformism during the Spanish Transition) by Javier Redondo, and, 'Bondades y maldades del buenismo' (Bounties and evils of “goodism”) by Xavier Pericay.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS
Álvaro Rodríguez Bereijo, the former president of the Constitutional Court, on 'Las reformas necesarias para España. La Constitución y la articulación territorial del Estado español' (The reforms needed by Spain. The Spanish Constitution and territorial organisation of the Spanish State), claims that “the current challenge of the Spanish Constitution and State is a reform that allows us to address the challenges of belonging to the EU and to an international globalized scenario increasingly competitive”. In his opinion, “a clearer, simpler and more functional definition is needed for the distribution of powers between the State, the Autonomous Communities and the local Administrations”.
The article, which is a transcription of the conference delivered by Bereijo during the 2013 FAES Campus, states that “We will hardly have a territorial model that is more open, flexible and dynamic than the Autonomic State”. He expresses his fear that “some reform proposals seeking a federalism that articulates the asymmetry and that entails precise legal consequences of the distinction between “nationality” and “regions” ends up creating serious tensions among the territories that constitute Spain as a Nation.
UNION VERSUS SECESSION
Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín, lecturer of Political Science in the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, points out the anomaly of separatism within the European Union in 'El valor de la Unión en contra de la secesión' (The value of the Union against secession). She states that “Secessionism simply does not belong in a Europe which aims to an increasingly closer rapprochement of peoples”, while claiming that “It is diametrically opposed to the European message based on multiple and inclusive identities” and that “it is the exact opposite of the priorities of the EU”.
The author links the revival of separatist tensions in Europe with the crisis, where she places the 2012 Catalan Diada (National Day of Catalonia). “In a default situation, the autonomic authorities opted for local exaltation and an anti-European discourse to the highest extent”. Additionally, she says that “the coolness with which the EU has watched the movement is due to the historical contradiction that it represents”. “Beyond the fallacy of independence in a global world, secessionism in Catalonia has as a distinguishing feature the sum of negative values that the EU has been trying to stay away from for sixty years”, she explains. And ends up by saying: “Before disintegration threats, a stronger union has always been the slogan of Europe”.
INDEPENDENCE AND THE EU
With regard to this question, the journal includes in this issue the conference 'Europa en tiempos inciertos. España y el Reino Unido frente a la idea de Europa' (Europe in uncertain times. Spain and the United Kingdom before the idea of Europe), delivered by the British historian and writer, Hugh Thomas, during the last edition of the FAES Campus. In that conference, he states that “anti-European populist movements seem to be increasing their effectiveness” and adds that, regarding Catalonia, the Basque Country and Scotland, “independence and its future relation with the European Union is something that requires some thinking”.
Regarding the European governance, Thomas affirmed that “Europe and the euro can only be saved if they are included in the unification of powers and projects”. He pointed out that “we are facing difficult times in Europe because of the relative failure of a currency that has not been able to settle in all countries, which are a confederation rather than a federation.
QUEBEC'S CLARITY ACT
'Canadá y la cuestión de Quebec' (Canada and the Quebec issue (II). The secession-integration of Quebec in the Canadian Federation: evolution and current situation), written by Alfonso Cuenca Miranda, Congressional Attorney, is the continuation of a study the first part of which was published in the last issue of Cuadernos de Pensamiento Político. The text addresses the Quebec issue based on the 1998 decision of the Canadian Supreme Court, where it decided that secession did not fit in the current legality and forced the parts to negotiate. As a consequence, Ottawa's Government encouraged the adoption of the Clarity Act to set the requirements needed for the referendum: a clear question and a majority exceeding 50 percent plus one.
Cuenca Miranda points out in his article that those requirements “have stopped the pro-independence referendum follies” and has cooled the issue, to such an extent that we cannot see a referendum in the horizon in which “the risks of a new rejection would be higher”. This way–he adds–the British demand follows the idea that the Scottish consultation should be “fair, legal and decisive”, while the Canadian inspiration in its response to Downing Street on the Scottish issue is no less important”.
The 40th issue of the journal also includes the studies 'Reflexiones sobre la igualdad' (Considerations on equality), by Mauricio Rojas; 'Ideas para la modernización de España' (Ideas for modernizing Spain), by John Müller; 'Democracia deliberativa y comunicación libre. La escuela de Frankfurt y los desafíos de nuestro tiempo' Deliberative democracy and free communication. The Frankfurt School and the challenges of our days, by H. F. C. Mansilla; 'El PCE: de la clandestinidad a la legalidad' (The PCE: from clandestinity to legality), by Fernando Nistal, and 'Staligrado: la ciudad que derrotó a Hitler' (Stalingrad: the city that defeated Hitler), by Martín Alonso.
10 YEARS OF CUADERNOS
Cuadernos de pensamiento político is a member of the Spanish Association of Cultural Magazines (ARCE in Spanish). It is also present in DICE, Dissemination and Editorial Quality of Spanish Journals of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law. In addition to this, the journal has been included in the Library of the US Congress as a reference of Spanish current political affairs.