President of European Commission: "We Will Respect A Catalan Vote"

Sept. 15th, 2017

 Juncker at the EPP Congress in Dublin in 2014. 

Juncker at the EPP Congress in Dublin in 2014. 

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, expressed his opinion regarding the Oct. 1st referendum in a live interview with three young European YouTubers. When asked if the commission will recognize the result of the Oct. 1st referendum, Juncker noted that "the commission does not involve itself in internal debates," but that "if there were to be a 'yes' vote in favor of Catalan independence, then we will respect that". 

Juncker noted, however, that "we [i.e. the European Commission] have always said that we were going to respect the rulings of the Spanish Constitutional Court and the decisions of the Spanish Parliament". Even if Catalonia should become independent, it will not immediately become an EU member, and must "follow the same accession procedure as those who joined in 2004". 

Juncker's comments come as both the Catalan independence leaders and officials in Madrid have appealed to the EU as a mediator in the dispute on Catalonia's sovereignty. President Puigdemont and several officials hosted a conference in the EU Parliament in January that made the case for Catalonia's independence. The Spanish government, on the other hand, has insisted on the referendum to remain an internal affair.