The European Commission (EC) claims that the cases of Spain’s province of Catalonia and Serbia’s province of Kosovo and Metohija are “not comparable.”
The reason: Spain is an EU member, Tanjug is reporting on Monday.
The agency said this had been stated on Monday, the day the EC “declared” the the Catalan independence referendum held the previous day was unconstitutional according to Spanish law.
“When it comes to recognition of Kosovo, that was a very specific context. This position was adopted by various UN declarations and various UN resolutions and the international community. A very specific context, with specific reasons,” said EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas said – but without explaining which UN declarations and resolutions he had in mind – or what the “specific” issues had been.
Spain is among five out of EU’s 28 member-states that have not recognized Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians in 2008 unilaterally declared independence – a move Serbia considers a violation of its territorial integrity, sovereignty, and Constitution.
Earlier in the day, the European Commission published a statement on its website that said that “under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Catalonia was not legal.”
“For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain,” the statement further said, and added:
“We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organized in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.”
“Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation. We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein,” the EC said.
Earlier, the Catalan government announced that 90.0 percent of those who turned out – 42.3 percent – in Sunday’s independence referendum had voted “yes.”