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On Wednesday 20th September, Canning House, in association with the Sociedad Civil Catalana, was delighted to welcome Josep Borrell. Mr. Borrell is a Catalan-born Spanish politician and former President of the European Parliament (2004-07). In his long political career in Spain, Mr. Borrell held several offices and roles, including State Secretary for Finance, Minister for Public Works and Transport, Minority Leader for the Spanish Workers’ Socialist Party and Member of the Spanish Parliament and of the European Parliament. He also has a distinguished academic career, having been president of the European Union Institute and holding since 2013 the Jean Monnet Chair at the Complutense University of Madrid. Mr. Borrell has spoken publicly against the nationalist movement and the divisions it causes in Catalan society.
Mr Borrell spoke on the topic of the future of Catalonia and its role within Spain, with a particular focus on the independence in anticipation of the unilateral referendum to be held on 1 October having been called by the regional Government of Catalonia. The Sociedad Civil Catalana as an association grouping diverse non-separatist currents in Catalan society and in favour of improving the region’s relations with the rest of Spain.
The event was be chaired by Giles Paxman, Canning House Trustee and former Ambassador to Spain and Mexico. Introduction was made by Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas.
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