Last week the defence implications of Catalonian Independence appeared in the forefront of the international media. This week the Atlantic Alliance is meeting in Wales, with a major crisis with Russia filling headlines and myriad other challenges in the background.
Catalonia will be a state committed to collective security and the defence of the Mediterranean and its allies. We are aware that freedom does not come free, and that nothing can be expected by those ready to contribute nothing. The international community’s concerns on new states are normal, specially on defence affairs. However, Catalonia will not be a “free-rider”. On the contrary, both NATO and the wider international community stand to benefit from the re-emergence of a serious country, aware of its responsibilities and ready to work together with partners and Allies.
The Catalans have a long experience in non-reciprocal relationships: a huge part of our GDP (8%) is drained by Spain year after year. Unfortunately this huge financial contribution has been wasted, and the Atlantic Alliance has failed to benefit from it. Now the time has come to rejoin the international community, manage our own resources, and directly take up our share of responsibilities.
As both the US President and the UK Prime Minister have pointed out, NATO’s response capabilities have suffered from the failure of several members to invest 2% of their GDP on defence. The Alliance can no longer rest on the British and American contributions. As a responsible member-state, Catalonia will faithfully adhere to the 2% benchmark, helping NATO build up her capabilities and contributing to collective security. Our credibility is at stake and we will not fail.