Pasqual Maragall Legacy



The urban sociologist Marc Pradel presented his book "Catalonia, network of cities. The municipalism of Pasqual Maragall and its influence on the government of Catalonia" together with the professor of political science at the UAB and director of the IERM, Ricard Gomà, and the geographer urban Oriol Nel·lo in the cultural center Casa Golferichs. This book, published a year ago, is the research resulting from the first aid (2014-2015) granted by the Pasqual Maragal Legacy program.

It was the first event presented by Ernest Maragall as President of the Catalunya Europa Foundation. Maragall begined the event by recalling the purpose of the project "Legacy Pasqual Maragall": a program of research and reflection on the political action and thinking of Pasqual Maragal with the aim of promoting, through this line of reflection and analysis, new ideas and useful proposals for the future of the country.

The room was crowded in a meeting that gathered friends, family members, political representatives and civil society. Oriol Nel·lo, Ricard Gomà and Marc Pradel explained how the research analyzes the thinking and action of Pasqual Maragall, relating Maragall's contribution to the transformation of the city of Barcelona, ??with the moment that Catalan municipalism experienced during his tenure as mayor (1982-1997) and as President of the Generalitat between 2003 and 2006. Oriol Nel·lo expressed his satisfaction in contributing to the Maragallist thought, as well as seeing that the work of the FCE in relation to the Legacy of Pasqual Maragall accumulates more and more fruits and solidity. He made reference to three obstacles that Marc Pradel successfully faces in his search. The first is the concept of municipalism. The second is the complexity of the political thought of Pasqual Maragall, "which is, that same, complex and not paradoxical" nuanced. With great lucidity and "savoir faire" Nel·lo defined Maragall as "a socialist who calls himself a liberal, a liberal who demands the intervention of the State, a Catalanist who wants to transform Spain and a pro-European who claims the virtues of subsidiarity". Finally he ended his speech explaining how the practical municipalism of Pasqual Maragall was two things: subsidiary and metropolitan.

Ricard Gomà referred to the writing style of Pradel's book. He praised that it was a book not only for academics but with a didactic and clarifying vocabulary made for citizenship and therefore with the will to encourage citizen debate. He also referred to the "Legacy Pasqual Maragall", which explained "it can be read as a transforming project of Barcelona but also as the creation of an ideology that goes much further". Historically, we can say that we have a distinctive municipal feature with respect to the others communities of Spain and the world and this is thanks to Pasqual Maragall".

Then Marc Pradel explained that he wanted to find out if, after the multiple political actions of Pasqual Maragall, there was a project and a consistent political theory, given that Maragall was an action figure that he did not leave, a written record of the trajectory of the thought that followed to bring his political actions, especially during the Tripartite period. On the other hand, the sociologist proposed to analyze whether this municipalism, this commitment to urban planning in a network, was maintained today and what form it has adopted if this was the case.

Pradel also exposed the limitations he encountered when undertaking his search: the first comes from the character's particularity. The analyzes on Pasqual Maragall, explained Pradel, have focused mainly on his figure, his personality and his particular style of understanding and doing politics. This type of analysis reviews the electoral results and the political action of Maragall as the result of his personality. Initially, this interpretation hindered the more objective analysis of the vision of the political project and the set of ideas of Maragall. The second difficulty that Pradel exposed is the success of the Olympic Games, which leave the rest of his political action in the background, which makes it difficult to analyze Maragall's thinking as a whole, with great coherence throughout his career politics. Despite the limitations, Pradel managed to publish a solid and didactic book on the municipalism and political vision of Pasqual Maragall during his political life, through a personal reading that prompted a constructive debate at the end of the event.

The debatewas cheared by Jaume V. Aroca, a journalist from La Vanguardia. The event ended with a series of questions and reflections that led to a final conclusion: more Europe. More presence of this union of states to the hasty cosmopolitans is compatible with the vision of the national-municipalist of Pasqual Maragall. It is necessary to emphasize the importance of implementing proximity policies from Europe to find the balance and strength of good governance in today's globalized world.