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Parliamentary questions
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9 November 2017
E-006915-17
Question for written answer E-006915-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Auke Zijlstra (ENF)

 Subject:  Legitimate secession of Catalonia
 Answer in writing 

The European Union supports the Spanish Government’s decision to take control of Catalonia, suspending the region’s autonomy, under Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. The evidence for its position is that the Commission Vice-President has stated that it is fundamental that the Spanish Constitution should be respected.

However, Spain’s suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy is not supported by the European Court of Human Rights, whose rulings the EU institutions are bound by Treaty to abide by.

The European Court of Human Rights considers that it is legitimate for a region of a Member State to secede, even if the country’s Constitution does not provide for that possibility. However, secession is subject to two conditions. Firstly, in order to secede, it is necessary to use democratic means, so no violence. Secondly, the model of society that the territory aspires to must be democratic(1).

Both the conditions formulated by the European Court of Human Rights have been fulfilled in Catalonia.

1. Is the Commission aware of the Refah Partisi judgment?

2. Does the Commission consider that the European Court of Human Rights decision should lead to a revision of the Commission’s support of the Spanish constitution?

3. How does the Commission, as guardian of the European Treaties, view the decision of the European Court of Human Rights?

(1)https://doorbraak.be/mensenrechten-madrid-catalonie-eu

Original language of question: NL 
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