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Banning Catalonia from the EU would be "nonsense", European experts say

The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised a debate in Edinburgh with outstanding European figures from the academic, legal and economic fields to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Catalonia's independence. "It is nonsense to imagine that part of a Member State could be directly expelled from the EU if it becomes independent" stated University of Edinburgh professor and former judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities Sir David Edward. "Scotland had the chance to freely and legally pronounce on their political future and this is still the shared wish of the majority of Catalans" stated Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo. The director of the Centre on Constitutional Change, Michael Keating, and the Catalan Government’s delegateto the United Kingdom and Ireland, Josep Suàrez, also attended the event.

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27 November 2015 03:12 PM

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ACN / Sara Prim

London (CNA).- "It is nonsense to imagine that part of a Member State could be directly expelled from the EU if it becomes independent" stated University of Edinburgh professor and former judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities Sir David Edward. He made this statement during the debate session that the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised this Thursday in Edinburgh to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Catalonia's independence. "Scotland had the chance to freely and legally pronounce on their political future and this is still the shared wish of the majority of Catalans" stated Secretary-General of Diplocat, Albert Royo. Outstanding European figures from the academic, legal and economic fields were invited to the debate, together with such as the Centre on Constitutional Change's director, Michael Keating, and the Catalan Government’s delegate to the United Kingdom and Ireland, Josep Suàrez.   



The possibility of a different status for Catalonia

The session, entitled 'Independence movements in Europe – Threat or opportunity for the EU?' was divided into two round tables. The first one presented different points of views regarding the current political situation in Catalonia. The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)'s member, professor Luis Moreno, described the hypothetical independence of Catalonia as "a dramatic situation". "There are a few reasons for being optimistic in terms of constitutional change after the Spanish elections" he admitted and suggested an agreement with the Spanish state that would attribute to Catalonia a higher power of influence on the decision-making process.

On the other hand, University of Belfast Spanish and Catalan professor and journalist Irene Boada argued that if Catalonia becomes independent, it would have positive consequences for both Spain and the EU. "The main danger is the attitude of denying an existing problem and the lack of communication showed by de Spanish government" she explained. Regarding the possibility of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Boada was less sceptical than Moreno and assured that Catalan society "is really determined" with the independence process.  

European citizenship

The second round table gathered together academic experts from different fields to discuss the fitting of an independent Catalonia within the EU. "It is nonsense to imagine that part of a Member State could be directly expelled from the EU, without any negotiation, if it becomes independent" stated University of Edinburgh professor and former judge at the Court of Justice of the European Communities Sir David Edward.

“European citizenship is a right that, once acquired, can't be taken off just like that" assured University of Geneva Global Studies Institute director Nicolas Levrat. He also commented that an expansion of the EU in order to add Catalonia in the event that it would become an independent country would represent a "great opportunity" to reformulate the Union and reinforce its democratic legitimacy.

Commercial relationships by keeping the Euro

University of Stirling professor of Economics David Bell referred to the role of an independent Catalonia within the EU's single market. He denied that the appearance of a new frontier would have a negative effect on Spain's commercial activity and pointed out that Catalonia would "naturally fit" within the European policy of commercial exchanges.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra's School of International Business (ESCI)'s director Xavier Cuadras analysed the possible ways of disconnecting from the fiscal and monetary systems. According to him, a "cooperative solution" would be the best option for Catalonia, Spain and the whole of the Eurozone, as it would facilitate the stability policies that the market needs to effectively function. "Catalonia is now committed to keeping the Euro as their currency and this is unlikely to change" he stated.

 

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  • Image of the 'Independence movements in Europe – Threat or opportunity for the EU?' in Edinburgh (by DIPLOCAT)

  • Image of the 'Independence movements in Europe – Threat or opportunity for the EU?' in Edinburgh (by DIPLOCAT)