Saturday, 20 February 2010

Independent without coming out of the EU

One study demonstrates that neither the independent Catalonia nor the rest of Spain had to request to join the European Union as new associates.
Albert Segura
Ult. Act. 19/02/2010 00:49
The Spanish threat that if Catalonia became independent would automatically rest outside of the European Union is only a threat. So it is demonstrated by a study by Dr Antoni Abat, professor a the University of Stanford, California, to which Avui has had access and that Cercle d’Estudis Sobiranistes and Horitzó Europa have presented today. The future Catalan State would not have to complete any awkward procedure, and neither the new Spain. In front of the legal loophole and the absence of precedents, Abat affirms that "the pragmatical exceptionality" would be the clue that opened the independent Catalonia the doors to remain within the EU, therefore, a political decision ad hoc will have to be taken.
Well done, then, by the towns and cities, organizers of the polls for independence, to have specified in the ballot papers that the future Catalan State will be "integrated in the EU". Because any foundational document, like the declaration of independence, would be an opportunity to tie Catalonia to the EU, specifying that the new State becomes a new associate and that the European legislation is still in vigour. From the beginning, Abat advises, "any Catalan legislation" has to make clear that Catalonia assumes the supremacy of the Communitarian Right" and it has a "will to maintain the stability of the international relations and respect to the fundamental rights". It should express the will to respect the Charter of the United Nations.
They are right who say "Spain breaks". If Catalonia becomes independent, the rest of the Spain becomes a new State too, and, therefore, would play with the same conditions in the international scene. That means, Catalans may threaten Spaniards too, by answering that our secession might left them out of the EU. "Spain without Catalonia is not the automatic successor of the actual Kingdom of Spain in the international field, because these secessions are always negotiated", Abat tells us in the study Independent Catalonia within the EU, that gives us examples of the dissolutions of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
Today, presentation of the report
The same would happen to Scotland and the United Kingdom, they would have the same legal status in front of the EU. "The idea that the United Kingdom vetoes Scotland to the EU is nonsense, because in the same way, Edinburgh could veto London", Scottish Prime Minister Alex Salmond defences. Today, their ex-Minster for Europe, External Relations and Culture, Linda Fabiani will participate in the presentation of this report in addition of the President of the Parliament of Catalonia, Ernest Benach, and the EMP Ramon Tremosa (CiU), Oriol Junqueras (ERC), Raül Romeva (ICV) and Izaskun Bilbao (PNB). The Vienna Convention, the study remembers, previews that when a region becomes independent, it can freely decide whether inherits or not the rights and obligations subscribed by their ex-State.
Catalonia and the new Spain would have to submit to the European Court of Arbitrage, which would distribute rights and obligations and would decide how they would be represented before the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament. While the EU is only a matter of States, the best way to be represented is by having an own one. Finnish are only 5 million inhabitants, but actually have 14 MEP's at Strasbourg, twice as many Catalan MEP's. The seven Catalan MEP's place Catalonia at levels of Slovenia, with 2 million inhabitants, or Luxembourg, with less than half a million.
Is not possible to negate to the seven and a half million Catalans, from one day to the next, the study says, the rights that they already possess as Europeans; freedom of the person's movements, goods and capitals, services, possibility of voting in local and European elections, and belonging to the inner market within the Euro. Excluding Catalonia from the EU, the rest of Europeans remained without exercising these rights in the Principality.
Article published at Diari Avui, February 19th, 2010.

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