Misc 15/07/2015

Raül Romeva, a man made in Europe with a career dedicated to peace

The former MEP for ICV will lead the list for 27-S agreed to by CDC, ERC and the independence organizations. He quit the party when the eco-socialists distanced themselves from the independence process

ARA Barcelona
2 min

Raül Romeva i Rueda (born in Madrid on March 12, 1971) will lead the joint independence list agreed to by CDC, ERC, and the pro-sovereignty organizations, but it will not be, by any means, the first time that he has led a political project. Romeva was for 10 years the face of Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds (ICV) in Europe: from 2004 to 2014 he was a European MP for this Catalan eco-socialist party, and was considered the most active politician in the European Parliament, as he made more than 1,600 interventions between questions and motions.

But after years fully committed to politics, he decided to step aside and dedicate himself to reading and writing. Nevertheless, he continued with one eye set on Catalan politics: for the 9-N consultation he tried to convince ICV, of which he had been a member since 1989, to support the "Yes-Yes" option. But it was not to be. After the party approved a national project to make Catalonia "a free and sovereign state within a pluri-national Spain", he decided to tear up his membership card, which he had held for 26 years. "The ICV convention has set its course towards a Catalonia within Spain. My nautical compass has been set in another direction for some time", he said then in a letter to his fellow party members.

Months later Òmnium Cultural named Romeva leader of the campaign "Ara és l’hora" (Now is the time), a joint project by Òmnium and the ANC. It was the first time that Romeva had got totally involved in an openly pro-independence project.

Romeva has always worked in international relations. He received his doctorate in this subject and in Economics from the Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona (UAB), and has been a research analyst into armed conflict and post-war rehabilitation at the School of the Culture of Peace in the UAB and at the UNESCO Center of Catalonia (1994-1998), and at Intermon Oxfam.

His professional career has always been linked to Europe: in 1995 he was the main assistant to the UNESCO representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the head of the program for education and promotion for the Culture of Peace of the same organization in that country. Years later he was a supervisor of the Bosnian elections for the OSCE.

He has also had experience in the classroom, as an associate professor for International Relations at the UAB, and has written various papers about peace and Europe, his two main topics. "Peace and Security in Europe" (1998), "Disarmament and Development" (2000), and "War, Post-war, and Peace: Guidelines for analysis and intervention in post-war and post-agreement contexts" (2003) are some examples.

Romeva has a son and a daughter, and lives in Sant Cugat del Vallés. He is related to Pau Romeva, one of the founders of Unió Democràtica de Catalunya.