Belgium’s co-ruling New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) was present in the crowd of Catalans who demonstrated on Thursday in Brussels in favour of self-determination for Catalonia. About a dozen N-VA members, including the speaker of the Flemish Parliament, Jan Peumans, were visible in the procession.
The Flemish nationalist party is backing the call by the organizers of the event, who are urging Europe to support the Catalan people’s right to self-determination.
“Today we are all Catalans,” European parliamentarian Mark Demesmaeker, Federal parliamentarian Peter Luyckx, and Jan Van Esbroeck, member of the Flemish Parliament, said in a communique. “We are joining in their peaceful protest against Europe’s silence and Spanish repression.”
“The way the European institutions and Madrid are managing the crisis runs counter to the democratic values we ought to share in the European Union,” Luyckx said. “We hope this message will today reach the Berlaymont, where the European Commission sits. Europe must make dialogue possible between Catalonia and Spain.”
Luyckx added: “It’s unacceptable that political prisoners are still imprisoned in 2017. Where is the indignation?”
“For us, it’s good to see that so many Catalans are united in demanding their independence,” N-VA delegation member Kathleen Krekels said. “We do not yet bring together as many people, but we are also trying, through our legislative work in Parliament,” she added, surrounded by thousands of Catalan flags as well as some Flemish ones.