EU must facilitate dialogue between Catalonia and Spain - Lynn Boylan MEP
Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has called upon the EU to facilitate dialogue between Catalonia and Spain.
Ms Boylan attended a number of meetings with the exiled former President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont during his visit to Dublin today.
Speaking after the meetings, Ms Boylan said;
“In 2017 I travelled to Catalonia as part of a parliamentary delegation to observe the referendum on independence there. I bared witness to Catalans attempting to peacefully exercising their democratic right to vote but who were then prevented from doing so by Spanish police who instead seized ballot boxes and perpetrated violence.
“Since that time the Catalans have seen their President exiled and nine of their elected political representatives and civil leaders arrested and currently await trial in pre-trial detention in Spanish prisons on charges of rebellion.
“The European Institutions are once again exposed for their hypocrisy, they boast values of respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, yet they turn a blind eye to the violations of the Spanish state.
“The position of the EU Commission which allows Spain to manage this situation as an 'internal issue' makes a mockery of the values of democracy and fundamental rights they claim to represent.
“The European Union and EU Commission should practice what they preach by calling for peaceful negotiations and a just solution to the situation in Catalonia because this dispute cannot be resolved through incarceration and violence.
“The European Commission should use its influence to pressure the Spanish state to meet the calls of the Catalan political representatives for dialogue. They should seek to begin peaceful mediation while encouraging respect for the Catalan people’s democratic right to self-determination
“People who believe in fundamental rights and democracy need to be very aware of what is happening across the EU. In countries like Spain, Hungary and Poland, oppression and repression of people’s rights must be raised and challenged internationally. It is my aim as an MEP to ensure that European Institutions are held to account.”