The former Foreign Affairs Secretary, Raül Romeva
Born in Madrid in 1971, Raül Romeva i Rueda was in Sabadell, a city close to Barcelona. In 1989 he received a degree in economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) thirteen years later, on 2002, he earned his PhD in international relations at the same university.
From October 1995 to August 1996, Romeva was the principal aide of the UNESCO representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he was responsible for the Educational programme and for promoting the UNESCO School of Peace Culture. He was also an observer for OSCE during the elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 and 1997.
Romeva has been an assistant professor of International Relations at the UAB (1994–1995 and 1996–2002), researcher on peace and disarmament at the UNESCO Center of Catalunya (1994–1998) and campaign coordinator for disarmament and armed conflict prevention for Intermón-Oxfam (1998–1999).
He began his association with Iniciativa Catalunya Verds (ICV) in Caldes de Montbui in 1989. In 1994 and again in 1999 he was a candidate to the European Parliament for ICV, and in 2004 was elected as a Member of the European Parliament, where he held his seat until 2014. During this period, he was considered one of the most active politician of the European Parliament Chamber.
On the 15th of July 2015, it was announced that Romeva would head ‘Junts Pel Sí’ (`Together for Yes´), the pro-independence list for Barcelona in the Catalan elections on 27 September 2015 and became Catalan Minister for Home Affairs.
He was forced to quit after Spain’s imposition of direct rule, following the 1st of October pro-independence referendum in Catalonia in 2017 and the political declaration of independence in the Parliament three weeks later.
On the 2nd of November 2017, Judge Carmen Lamela, in charge of rebellion and embezzlement lawsuits against the dismissed government of Catalonia, issued an order that Raül Romeva, together with former vice-president Oriol Junqueras and seven other members of the Carles Puigdemont government, enter the prison that same day. Although he left the prison on bail, on March 23 Judge Pablo Llarena re-sentenced him again without bail. Since then, he is expecting the trial, set to start on February the 12th.