Report on the consequences of independence blocked in the European Parliament


Brussels (ACN).- The European Parliament has vetoed a report on “the consequences of secession of the territory of a member state for its membership of the European Union”, the ACN can confirm. The Scottish Labour MEP, David Martin, hoped to prepare a report about the impact of secession for Scotland and Catalonia, but authorisation to do so was delayed and blocked by his own socialist group, as shown by the minutes of the meetings of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament. The president of the European Parliament, German socialist Martin Schulz, and the leader of the group in the chamber, Austrian Hannes Swoboda, did not give final permission for the report to go ahead, and considering the European elections that will take place in May 2014, it is now too late to prepare it. Schulz and Swoboda ceded to pressures from the Spanish socialist party PSOE that feared that the report would benefit pro-independence campaigners in Catalonia, the ACN understands.

An aide for the Scottish MEP has confirmed the veto to his proposal saying he cannot understand “the reason” behind this decision. Martin planned to write a report arguing that any new state would be automatically outside the European Union and would be forced to reapply for membership. Catalan MEPs Ramon Tremosa (CiU) and Raül Romeva (ICV) suspect that the socialist group in the European Parliament is not certain of this theory and feared the report would back-fire, as it would not say unequivocally that Scotland and Catalonia would have to reapply for EU membership if they were to vote for independence. Ramon Tremosa said he is “very disappointed” with Martin Schulz, and accused him of acting according to “personal interests”. Being the most likely candidate to lead the Socialists in next year's European election, and considering he could as well become the new president of the Commission, Schulz might not be interested in aggravating the Spanish socialists with a report about the potential consequences of independence. Since the pro-independence movement in Catalonia gained momentum in September last year, Spanish diplomats and MEP have urged European institutions to avoid discussing the topic of independence. A report such as the one proposed by David Martin would inevitably “generate a debate in the Chamber of the European Parliament” that Spanish MEPs “want to avoid at all costs”, said Catalan MEP Raül Romeva. The President of the Constitutional Affairs Committee that would have prepared the report, Italian Carlo Casini, has written to the Martin Schulz to ask for an explanation, the ACN can confirm.
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  • The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz (by Reuters)