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Vicent Partal


…but they also can't kick us out by letter

Mr. Juncker, the European Commission's president-to-be, seems to want to maintain the dangerous strategy begun by Mr. Barroso. Fine for us. It seems like the new Commission will, like its predecessor, stick to fear mongering by talking up the expulsion of Scotland and Catalonia from the EU, probably right up until the day that the Yes vote wins in Scotland or in Catalonia and therefore, it has to quickly make the switch to pragmatism. Meanwhile, the objective is to instill fear.

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.

Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott's research says that the key to understanding the situation is the fact that European citizenship is not just a consequence of being a citizen of one of the member states. That fact—that Barroso states so happily—has been questioned over and over by the Court of Justice, which—let's not forget—has the last word on the matter. And there are specific cases that can be explained and that are quite relevant to our situation, considering what might happen to us.

They are, among others, the notable cases of Rottmann and Ruiz Zambrano, in which these people, despite having lost their original citizenship, continued to be considered citizens of the European Union. One case took place in Germany and the other in Belgium. They are cases dealing with individuals, that's true. But then let Mr. Juncker respond, by letter if he wishes, what they will do when the European Court of Justice reminds him that seven and a half million Catalans will continue to be European citizens for all intents and purposes. No matter what the Commission might say and keeping in mind something very obvious: the European Union is not an absolutist monarchy and neither Juncker nor Barroso can decide the matter by themselves.

Mail Obert