A glass-walled Parliament

We are living through a moment of great significance. From the very first day we must show, through our deeds, that this period of office will lead to the construction of a fairer, more prosperous, more democratic, upright country

We are facing a momentous term, the most important one since Parliament was re-established in 1980. It is a period of office in which we must address the social challenges of a country that has been hit by the economic crisis and growing inequality, by a fiscal imbalance unheard of in Europe and by controlled finances. It is also the term during which we will advance in building a new country where all the different sentiments of Catalan society must be involved. A fairer country which we must begin building immediately.

To overcome these immense challenges, two things must take place: the investiture of a president of the Generalitat and the formation of a government that allows parliamentary activity to develop in all its capability and potential. And it is precisely because the job ahead is so important that the political groups will rise to the challenge of this historic moment and will find the necessary common ground to truly begin such a thrilling period of office. Catalan society has proved many times that it is capable of reaching an agreement, of coming together and uniting through diversity when the purpose is worth it. It is time for politics to show that same capacity for understanding.

Negotiations are underway, but they do not prevent us from focusing on the steps that will mark the beginning of this period of office. This Wednesday, on International Anti-Corruption Day, we must look at ourselves in the mirror, as a country, so that we can amend the mistakes we have made and avoid repeating them. Catalonia is not exempt from the malaise of political corruption and for this reason, beyond speeches and fine words, we the political representatives must generate the necessary oversight mechanisms to eradicate it or to reduce it almost to zero.  

This must also be the term that brings about the beginning of the end of political corruption in Catalonia. We must use all the tools at hand to fend off bad practice and to punish those who are corrupt in the fastest and most efficient way possible. A sluggish justice system does not just benefit the guilty, it also greatly harms those who are innocent and who are forever involved in trials that sully their name.

Parliament has a new tool in this fight: the law on transparency, access to public information and good governance. This law involved the modification of parliamentary regulations in July, and now is the moment to develop and apply it. Transparency is the main antidote against shady and obscures spaces, the perfect ecosystem to prevent, expose and combat corruption. Transparency implies more openness, more information, better oversight and clearer codes so that citizens can be aware of the goings-on of their political representatives. It means having, in short, a glass-walled Parliament.

One of the most significant elements that this law will entail in our parliamentary is the approval of the representatives' code of conduct. Apart from disclosing the representatives' declaration of assets, which has already been done, this code will also regulate conflicting interests, the fulfillment of obligations stemming from the rules and regulations of incompatibility and the proceedings and consequences in cases of noncompliance. This and other parliamentary information and documentation will be published in the Transparency Portal.

This law also signifies progress in regulating interest groups and the encouragement of citizen participation. Registering interest groups will normalise relations between these groups and the administration, will make public their meetings with representatives and will set out the rules that must be followed. On the other hand, the modification of parliamentary regulations has introduced an obligation to encourage citizen participation in carrying out parliamentary initiatives. This measure will bring parliamentary activity closer to the citizens and the country's organizations.  

It is true that we will not end corruption with these rules alone. We know that the struggle against corruption must be tenacious and constant, and that public institutions have to lead with the public’s support and involvement. However, the transparency law and its development are another step in this fight and they allow us to show our will to be relentless against corruption.

We are living through a moment of great significance. From the very first day we must show through our deeds that this term will lead to the construction of a fairer, more prosperous, more democratic, upright country. Making it possible is in our hands, in the hands of all of us, and it is only up to us to make it happen.