European solidarity for Catalonia, Andrés Ortega (Elcano Institute)

The EU –its institutions and member states– has supported the Spanish government in its dispute with the separatists of Catalonia. It has done so, among other reasons, in defence of its own interests, which do not include the breaking away of territories, far less if it involves flouting existing and recognised law. But on the rollercoaster that is the Catalan saga the EU is in an uncomfortable position. Despite this, the EU can now express solidarity with a Catalonia that is fully integrated into Spain and Europe. It has an opportunity on 20 November when the European Council chooses the city to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is leaving London in the wake of the Brexit vote: Barcelona has put forward one of the strongest candidacies, although it is overshadowed by the independence issue

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