Brussels insists that an independent Catalonia would remain outside the EU
The European Commission reiterated this Thursday that an independent Catalonia would be kept out of the EU and would need to reapply for admission. “If a part of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state” because it becomes independent, “the treaties will no longer apply to that territory”, stated European Commission spokesman, Margaritis Schinas. The new independent state “will become a third country and may apply to become a member of the EU”, he added. Schinas clarified that this statement was not the result of any official analysis of the consequences of Catalonia’s independence and said that the European Commission would only carry out such a study if Spain or another EU Member State requested it.
Barcelona (CNA).- An independent Catalonia would be kept out of the EU and would need to reapply for admission, reiterated the European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas Thursday. When asked about Catalonia’s push for independence and its fitting into the EU, Schinas said that “if a part of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state” as a result of an independence process, the new region “will become a third country and may apply to become a member of the EU”. Schinas underlined that Brussels has the same position regarding Catalonia’s case that was set in 2004 by the president of the European Commission at that time, Romano Prodi, having refused to comment on the mass demonstration of the over 1.4 million people that showed support for Catalonia’s independence.
Schinas wanted to clarify that his statement wasn’t an official legal analysis of the consequences of independence: the European Commission will only carry out such an analysis if Spain or another EU Member State requests it. Schinas stated that he was simply repeating the same “position maintained by the Commission since 2004”.
“This is the position that President Juncker recalled in his campaign” for last year’s European elections, and which “he maintains today,” said the spokesman. He refused to answer whether the exit of Catalonia from the EU would occur automatically or immediately after independence.
The EU executive also declined to comment on the ‘Via Lliure’, one of the largest demonstrations ever seen in Europe held on Catalonia’s National Day (11th September), where over 1.4 million people showed their support for the creation of an independent state. “The position of the European Commission has not changed: we do not discuss issues affecting the constitutional order of Member States,” stated Schinas.