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Juncker warns Catalonia: “One does not become an EU member state by sending a letter”

The future president of the European Commission said during a meeting with the EFA/Greens Group in the European Parliament that he does not want to interfere in the political process started in Scotland or Catalonia. “I greatly respect democratic expressions in European territories, but I do not have the arrogance nor the wish to try to get involved in a debate that affects the territorial and political organization of member states”, said Juncker. The PPC candidate to the top job of the EU added that the Catalan situation “should be solved in Spain” and not in Brussels.

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09 July 2014 07:48 PM

by

ACN

Brussels (ACN).- The future president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, warned Catalonia on Wednesday that “one does not become an EU member by sending a letter”. During a meeting with the EFA/Greens Group in the European Parliament, Juncker said that he does not want to interfere in the political process in Catalonia or Scotland. The president of the EFA Group, Catalan MEP Josep Maria Terricabras, asked him how the EU institutions and Juncker himself would react to a ‘yes’ vote in Catalonia and Scotland. “I greatly respect democratic expressions in European territories, but I do not have the arrogance nor the wish to try to get involved in a debate that affects the territorial and political organization of member states”, answered Juncker.  

 


Before being ratified as the next President of the European Commission by the European Parliament on the 15th of July, Juncker is meeting all the political groups in the Chamber. In a meeting on Wednesday with the EFA/Greens group, the Catalan MEP from the Left-Wing Independence Party, Josep Maria Terricabras, said that the group will defend the “right of self-determination” and “political decentralisation”.

The Catalan MEP, as president of the group where the Scottish SNP is also integrated, reminded Juncker that “in the next four months, two nations will decide their democratic future, albeit by different means, but with democratic legitimacy”. He was referring to the referendum on independence in Scotland, scheduled for the 18th of September and agreed with the UK government, and the consultation on the independence of Catalonia, planned for the 9th of November, frontally opposed by the Spanish Government but with the full support of three quarters of the Catalan Parliament.

Terricabras asked Juncker how he and the European institutions would react to a ‘yes’ vote in Scotland and Catalonia. Aware of the controversy of the issue, the Christian Democrat candidate admitted he would himself give not much of an answer. Juncker argued that he did not want to interfere in a debate that needs to be solved within member states and “not in Europe”. About Scotland, he said that until the UK government says otherwise, Scotland “is still part of Great Britain”. “I will respect their choice”, he added about the Scottish referendum. Asked again by Terricabras if that meant the EU institutions would respect the citizen’s choice to continue in the EU, Juncker warned that “you don’t become an EU member by sending a letter”.  

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  • The future president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (by ACN)

  • The future president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker (by ACN)