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Home > Jordi Pujol > Biography > President of Catalonia

President of Catalonia

At his inaugural speech as President of the Catalan Generalitat in 1980, Jordi Pujol took the opportunity to set out his strategic goals: objectives that were to define governmental policy during his 23-year term of office:

Strategic Goals

  • To act on behalf of the country as a whole rather than in the interests of political parties.
  • To maintain an all-embracing vision of the country, from both a territorial and social point of view.
  • To practise an integrated form of nationalism with strong humanist roots.
  • To foster a nationalism that is centre-left.

Throughout his five terms, Jordi Pujol's policies were decisive in restoring Catalonia's autonomy.

What follows is a brief outline of the Administration's principle line of action::

1. Institutionalise the Catalan Generalitat and promote national identification among Catalans:

  • Reassert the administrative power of the Generalitat in relation to Catalan and Spanish institutions.
  • Make Catalan the language used in education.
  • Guarantee quality and referential public communication media in Catalan.
  • Raise Catalonia's profile internationally, in three areas: culture, business and policy.
  • Generate national self-esteem.

2. Stabilise economic and social models based on:

  • Champion the European model.
  • Defend democracy.
  • Support the market economy.
  • Promote social dialogue.
  • Promote commerce.

3. Redress the balance of the Land:

  • Redistribute the excessive concentration of population in metropolitan areas.
  • Strengthen and modernise agricultural policy.
  • Stimulate tourism.
  • Develop and implement communication and telecommunication infrastructure (network the country).
  • Water policy: strengthen irrigation and network connection.
  • Develop regional equilibrium by implementing the Welfare State: a network of health, educational, university, and cultural and sport services.

To a great extent, many of those goals have been accomplished. Catalonia has grown stronger as a nation and its people have united. Catalonia has now been placed firmly on the European map.

Restraints on Administrative Action

The Catalan Generalitat has often had to cut back because of a scarcity of resources. On these occasions, the Administration prioritised its actions in a pragmatic and rational manner.


On matters concerning policy and financing the Administration had to fight every step of the way - on many occasions taking their case to the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Europeanism

Jordi Pujol's terms of office were characterised by relentless activity in Europe with a triple focus: political, cultural and economic. This has contributed a great deal to the high degree of internationalism from which the Catalan economy is currently profiting.

Jordi Pujol's profound dedication to Europe has resulted in organisations such as the Patronat Català Pro Europa, which he founded in 1980, and, more recently, the Institut Català d'Estudis Mediterranis, devoted to the economical, political and demographic problems of the Western Mediterranean, especially the Magreb.

Jordi Pujol's Europeanism is staunchly regionalist. This began with his collaboration in 1985 with president Edgar Faure in the Council of European Regions and Municipalities, which later became the Assembly of European Regions (AER), of which Jordi Pujol was president between 1992 and 1996.

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