“One doesn’t become a member of the EU by sending a letter.”Jean-Claude Juncker
The newly elected president of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, didn’t exactly surprise anyone this week when he said that “he wouldn’t meddle” in the issue of possible independence for Catalonia as is something that Spain will have to deal with. He manifested that he is not willing to take part in such debates in reply to a question posed by the Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras, vice-chair of The Greens-European Free Alliance. He thus confirmed that nothing has changed among EU authorities regarding Catalonia and the referendum, and with a caustic final remark he added that “one doesn’t become a member of the EU by sending a letter”, in reference to the note that Catalan president Artur Mas sent earlier this week
The director of the Catalan daily Vilaweb, Vicent Partal, responded to Juncker’s remarks with an op-ed entitled “…but they also can’t kick us out by letter“:
But as Juncker made his comments yesterday, we were also able to read the well-documented study from the University of Oxford that upends all of the sad manipulation that the Commission is carrying out about the expulsion of Scotland and Catalonia in the event of their independence. Here are the details of the study, but let me paint you a picture, since as they say, they’re worth a thousand words.
One of the highlights of the report is that the Commission cannot decide to expel a country from the EU and that, if it did, the European Court of Justice would intervene right away… to block it. Because there are European laws and rulings that the Committee cannot ignore. A country cannot enter the EU just by sending a letter, as Juncker says, but it cannot be expelled by letter either. Because that would seriously violate European legislation in many areas, starting with the common market and ending with the right of citizenship.