The European Commission opens the door to the secession of Catalonia

The European Comission accepts as possible the secession of a part of a member state and refers to the international legal framework.

 In response to the Citizen Initiative promoted by Reagrupament, the European Commission (EC) accepts the possibility of secession of a part of a member state and considers the outcome must be negotiated within the international legal framework. However, the EC finds no legal basis in the European Union (EU) treaties in order to permit a legislative action through a citizen’s initiative and as a result decides no to register the request.

On April 1, a citizens committee headed by Joan Carretero, president of Reagrupament, filed a petition for a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) requesting the EU to recognize as a member any new state emerged from the democratic secession of another member state. The EC  had two months to respond whether the request was accepted to the admission record and has been in the last hours of this term when the answer has been issued.

The EC “Refuses to register the proposed initiative as it is manifestly outside the scope of the Commission to present a proposal for a legal act with the purpose of implementing the European treaties”. According to the Commission itself “There is no legal basis in EU treaties to allow a secondary legislation addressing the consequences of the secession of a part of a member state”. With this argument, the Commission considers that neither the EC nor the European Parliament can legislate or propose the consequences of a possible independence of Catalonia, but they admit this possibility when they state “In the case of a secession of a member state the solution would be negotiated within the international legal framework.”

Thus the Commission rejects the assertions of some political forces who claimed that Catalonia would be expelled from the EU in case of independence and acknowledges that Catalonia could become a member of the EU according to international law, since they assert this to be the solution to the stated problem.

At Reagrupament, we evaluate positively the response given by the European Commission, although we regret the initiative has not been admitted to be registered due to a competence issue. It is evident the EU considers as a possibility the secession of a part of a member state, in which case they show a clear will to solve its new status and indicate the way for its resolution within the international legal framework.

Premsa Reagrupament