Juncker insists dialogue is needed in Catalonia to solve crisis
European Commission president says mediation would only be possible if Spain asks for it
The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, insisted on Wednesday that "dialogue" is needed to solve the Catalan crisis. In a speech in the Flemish parliament on Europe Day, Juncker said that Brussels cannot comment on constitutional issues of a member state or on judicial decisions, but added that the European Commission always "regretted" the violence seen during the October 1 referendum.
"We have asked Catalans and the Spanish government to find a way for dialogue," he said. "Violence is never a good answer to fundamental questions, dialogue needs to find its way and I want this dialogue to take place," he added.
Asked about why the EU is not mediating between Madrid and Barcelona in order to find solutions, Juncker argued that it could only do so if both parties agreed. So far, only the Catalan government has asked for such mediation. Spain has always rejected foreign intervention in the crisis. "To be a mediator you need an agreement, and this agreement is not there, so I don't want to interfere in the debate without being invited to do so," Juncker told Flemish MPs.