The Bloc Nacionalista Valencià faces a decisive congress this weekend. The majority force in Compromís will renew the organic structures and propose an ideological update to broaden its social base, a model with which it aspires to become a transformative movement, in line with other parties rooted in the territory in Spain and Europe. The Bloc will stop calling itself Bloc and will withdraw from its brand the nationalist label – which has long since ceased to be used in the party’s communications – to become Més Compromís, a bid to strengthen the coalition and broaden its political spectrum.
At the eighth congress there are two candidatures. The first, headed by the current leader, Àgueda Micó, advocates a party that connects with social movements, strengthens coalition governments, establishes alliances with other state formations and structures its discourse on the concept of sovereignty – food, territorial , the energetic or the feminist-. The second, led by the mayor of Bellreguard, Àlex Ruiz, advocates highlighting the nationalist essence of the formation: “We have to be Valencianists and sovereignists without complexes. Other paths lead us to be Podemos or the PSPV,” he says.
Micó has the majority support of the militancy and the support of the visible faces of the Bloc, among them that of the Minister of Education, Vicent Marzà, who will be its political coordinator, or that of the president of the Valencian Corts, Enric Morera, who defends ideological updating as the basis for a new model of the country. Those of Micó argue that the alternative candidacy creates a false framework in the debate: nobody renounces anything by wanting to open the concept and they introduce the class struggle into the Valencian discourse. “It is not a Valencianist who believes that a country can be built on the precariousness of women or the working classes or on the exploitation of the territory,” says Marzà in an interview with elDiario.es.
The members of the list of the mayor of Bellreguard cling to the nationalist identity to try to maintain the sectors historically linked to the party: “We have to defend the right to self-determination of the Valencian Country. We have to do it without complexes, without radicalism and with the naturalness of what is a democratic idea, “they state, while criticizing that” the current leadership wants to denature and decaffeinate us as a party, “beginning with the name change. The critical candidacy speaks of loss of essences; the continuity, opening to build majorities. “We do not need any re-foundation, and we do need more work with the groups of the towns and regions of the Valencian Country to strengthen Compromís,” they insist from the candidacy of Ruiz.
The leaders are aware of the difficulty to establish roots in the southern regions, Spanish-speaking and with a different sociological reality from the metropolitan area of Valencia and the cities, where they reap better results. To recover the militancy, critics propose “empowering it” and “reactivating” relations with social groups; a line similar to that proposed by Micó’s candidacy, with constant forums for debate that open up the movement.
The critical candidacy also proposes an amendment to the entire feminist policy of the Bloc and Compromís. Promoted by former congresswoman Marta Sorlí, a group of militants claim abolitionist policies on gender, prostitution and surrogacy and claim to feel displaced from decision-making spaces. This sector has raised a manifesto contrary to the state Trans Law for introducing the concept of gender self-determination, which, they indicate, involves legitimizing gender as a tool of oppression for women, instead of ending it. Some of the promoters will participate this Saturday in a rally against the bill championed by the Ministry of Equality.