Pasqual Maragall Legacy

Javier Martínez-Cantó presents "Partidismo y (des)lealtad federal en el Estado autonómico Español"

The political scientist Javier Martínez-Cantó, currently a professor and researcher at the University of Konstanz, has presented the book “Partidismo y (des) lealadad federal en el Estado autonómico español”, fruit of the Research Grant “Llegat Pasqual Maragall 2018” awarded by the Fundació Catalunya Europa, with the support of Barcelona City Council and the Department of the Presidency of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The presentation was attended by the author of the study and professors Jordi Muñoz and Josep Joan Moreso, all led and moderated by the journalist and director of Diari Ara, Esther Vera.

In this work, Martínez-Cantó analyzes how a deficient institutional design of the autonomous state seriously hinders the possibilities of reform, in addition to granting privileges to the actors who occupy the central government for almost contextual reasons. This makes it difficult for the institutional system to accept demands for change, both in relation to specific policies and at the institutional level. For Martínez-Cantó, the great influence of partisanship and intra-party channels has replaced institutional channels. The academic defends the increase in multilateral and bilateral channels between the central state and the autonomous communities.

Regarding the study, Jordi Muñoz, professor of political science at the UB, acknowledges that the institutional analysis of the autonomous state has been dominated by a legal perspective, and that a treatment from political science is very necessary for the debate . For Muñoz, the reform of the Statute promoted by Maragall sought to reduce the ambiguity on which the system of autonomies had been built in order to end the lack of guarantees in self-government. According to the political scientist, these guarantees are so weak that they make sectors of non-independence Catalanism see the referendum on self-determination as a mechanism of institutional guarantee.

The Statute of Catalonia was, for Martínez-Cantó, an attempt by Maragall to reform the State from Catalonia. The model proposed by the Constitution is very flexible, says Martínez-Cantó, but this has given way to vices within the parties, which have been able to disproportionately benefit the actors with whom they share preferences. Precisely, Maragall's proposal went in a federalist direction but, for Moreso, the system of guarantees of the autonomies is far from resembling those of a federal state, which establishes the powers of the central state and leaves the rest in the federal states. Muñoz also added that the incentives for system reform and the guarantees of self-government are very low and are far from the interests of the Spanish right.

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