Dear Local Chapters Wikimedia committee members.
Last day 19, users of the Catalan wiki projects held a meeting in Barcelona. 18 of the most active users coming from several territories attended it, plus some connected though irc and people not editing but interested in the project.
The possibility of creating a Wikimedia chapter that can work in the territories of Catalan speech was considered.
We have studied the documents and the requirements for the creation for a local chapter and the situation is the following:
Gathering people: We think that the group that we have gathered is able to turn on the project with guarantees of success. Writing the bylaws: They are written. Translate the bylaws into English: Done.
The doubt that arises to us comes from the singularity of our case.
In the case of the languages with a great number of speakers like English or Spanish, which spread along several countries of different continents with different currencies, with borders and different legal systems, the local chapters can help grasping the needs of a concrete geographical zone.
In our case the situation is very different, it is about a language with few speakers that even though it spreads along four countries, the geographical distances are smaller than in single countries like Spain or France, all are in the same continent, all have the same currency, there is freedom to move from one to another (practically no borders), the basic laws are analogous, three countries are in the European Union and the other one with very wide international treaties of cooperation.
The VII Framework Program of the European Union fosters the cooperation of transborder entities (including Andorra) in subjects of science and technology in order to keep on erasing the borders. Bringing up four different entities would go against the spirit of the European union of erasing borders and uniting the population, science and culture. Today the only important factor that divides the ancient countries of the Union is language and culture and this is not our case.
That’s why we believe that the most natural way is to create a chapter that gathers all of us together.
The only state where the Catalan is the official language is Andorra. Unfortunately, the European parliament has not developed yet the laws to regulate associations of European range, what would be the ideal formula for us. The formula that the current laws of these states allow is that an association created in Andorra opens delegations in Spain, France and Italy and with the delegations it works in the parts of the territories of these countries where the language is Catalan.
Our idea would be to create Wikimedia Països Catalans (Wikimedia Catalan language territories) like an Andorran association and then agreeing with Wikimedia France the operations of a delegation in the French department Pyrénées-Orientales and with Wikimedia Italia the operations of another delegation in the Alghero city, a third delegation would develop its activities in the territories of Catalan speech of the Spanish state. If in the future a Wikimedia Spain chapter is created then the approach could be similar.
Our concrete questions are:
From the point of view of the Wikimedia local chapters committee can the formula that we bring up be right in order to anchor our association in the territory?
Does it seem fine to you if we start discussing with Wikimedia France and Wikimedia Italia to agree on these coordinated actions?
Which further steps do you suggest us to give?
Thanks in advance for your help and best regards.
Joan Ramon Gomà i Ayats
ca Wikipedia user: Gomà en Wikipedia user: CàlculIntegral Commons user: JRGomà