Statement by universities and research centres in Catalonia

On 21 September, the highest representatives of universities and research centres in Catalonia issued a statement in view of recent actions by the Spanish government in Catalonia.

Sep 21, 2017

At a meeting held in Barcelona on 21 September 2017, the highest representatives of universities and research centres in Catalonia (sixty institutions representing almost 90% of the system), together with representatives of trade unions and student associations, have evaluated the current situation in Catalonia in view of recent actions by the Spanish government.

We are in agreement that the honour of the academic and research institutions of Catalonia has been attacked, as these institutions have been included by the Spanish Ministry of the Treasury and Public Function in a list of bodies that have been taken over financially because they are suspected by the Ministry of committing acts that are against the law. This list has been sent to banks to block and control ordinary economic activity without any prior direct communication to the universities and research centres. This puts academic and research activity at risk, even when it is funded by the European Union or privately, and it damages the reputation and the international credibility of Catalan institutions, both of which are crucial to their participation in international projects and talent recruitment and retention.

For the reasons stated above, the attendees:

1. Demand that the Spanish authorities desist immediately from these unusual and unacceptable measures;
2. Agree to inform European and international bodies of the gravity of the situation provoked by these actions.

As regards the protests and demonstrations that may take place in the following days, the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) wishes to state that one of the functions of universities is to produce highly qualified professionals who are also critical and socially responsible citizens. To this end, we will shortly be agreeing on ways in which we can facilitate the participation of students and academic and administrative staff in these protests and demonstrations. Barcelona, 21 September 2017.