Spain’s Constitutional Court suspends Catalan foreign action plan and relations with the EU
'Catalonia's future in the world can't be challenged,' foreign minister warns Spanish government
Spain’s Constitutional Court has unanimously approved a motion by the Spanish government to suspend the Catalan government’s foreign action plan and relations with the European Union for 2019-2022. The Constitutional Court has given the provisional ruling while they deliberate on the full ruling on the Spanish government's appeal.
The court also suspended the validity and application of the Catalan government’s plan. The application of this suspension is backdated to October 28, the date of the Spanish government filed the appeal. The Catalan government will now have a period of 20 days to present a defense and documents that it deems appropriate for the case.
The opening of the appeal will also be communicated to the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) in case the agreement of the Catalan government is challenged in the chamber. In this case, the process should be suspended until the final decision is taken by the Constitutional.
Spanish government ministers presented the appeal based on their belief that Catalonia’s foreign action plan "exceeds the scope of action of the Catalan government", "undermined the powers of the Spanish State among others in international relations," and "violated the principle of constitutional loyalty in the exercise of their own powers."
According to the Spanish government, the Catalan government set up the plan within the framework "of a pro-independence process that seeks the disregard of the international image of Spain."
'Catalonia's future in the world can't be challenged'
Alfred Bosch, Catalonia's foreign affairs minister, warned the Spanish government that "Catalonia's future in the world cannot be legally challenged," after the Constitutional Court on Wednesday suspended the government's foreign action plan for 2019-2022.
Expressing surprise that the government in Madrid should challenge what is "only a plan," Alfred Bosch said the Catalan executive's proposed project for its relations abroad, including with the European Union, is "legal, legitimate and necessary."
Bosch added that it was an obligation "to respond to those citizens who call for more competitiveness, as well as companies, universities, unions, and everyone who wants to have a better position in the world."
The Catalan foreign department now has up to 20 days to appeal the court's preliminary ruling, while Bosch insisted that the decision to suspend the plan will not affect the government's foreign offices abroad.
The foreign affairs minister said his objective is to make Catalonia "an actor known and recognized, with more presence and more economic, social and cultural influence" and “a reference point of democracy, peace, and solidarity” on the day the now-suspended plan was presented.