Charles Michel: “Catalan crisis is putting Europe to the test”

Charles Michel: “Catalan crisis is putting Europe to the test”
Charles Michel considers that there is still the possibility for dialogue, within Spain and Europe, in respect of Catalonia. © Belga

The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, spoke about the Spanish deadlock in an interview with Le Soir and De Standaard on Saturday. He asserted, “The Catalan crisis is putting Europe to the test.” Concerning the European project in general, the Liberal is demanding a proactive approach, and arguing for a “differentiated Europe.”

The Belgian Prime Minister says that the situation in Spain, since the referendum on independence organised in Catalonia and won by the independents at the beginning of October, is a crisis “which is putting Europe to the test. It is an institutional and political crisis in a country, which relates to fundamental issues, including the right to vote, opinions and the use of force.”

Charles Michel considers that “right-thinking individuals and groups want a dialogue.” He asserts, “There is a ‘war of nerves’, which must end at any moment to open the way for political dialogue.” He goes on, “It is not simply a matter of seeing a definitive breakdown of dialogue, which would lead us to raise the issue of international or European mediation.”

He moreover has observed a ‘nerve’ element in the European context for some months now, “You might say there has been a sense of resolve. To transition from a Europe of crises, to a Europe which suffers, to a Europe which is embarking upon projects, which takes action.”

Mr Michel emphasises that he was the first “to argue for a differentiated Europe – having also called for a multi-speed Europe. That is to say the unity of the 27 if possible, but not at the price of the status quo.”

The Brussels Times

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