The EU can be prosperous even if it comprises of scores of small independent nations, says fugitive former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont in an interview with former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa on RT Spanish.
The former Catalan president is a wanted man in Spain for organizing a referendum on the independence of his home state two years ago. Voices opposing Catalan independence came not only from Madrid, but also Brussels.
For example, then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it would be impossible to manage the EU, if it had 98 members, which, he predicted, would eventually happen if Catalonia was allowed to do what it wanted. Puigdemont said this line of reasoning has an obvious flaw.
“They told us: ‘Taking in Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders – that would be too complicated’. We could take that, but at the same time the EU was seeking to expand from 28 members to 30 or even 32,” he said in an interview with former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa on RT Spanish. “They are negotiating with Kosovo, [Northern] Macedonia, Albania on their accession.” Puigdemont said the EU could be a functional union with wealthy and happy residents, even if composed of tiny countries.
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There is, of course, an obvious distinction between the lands he mentioned. The former three are parts of internationally-recognized states. Albania and Northern Macedonia are sovereign nations in their own right while the status of Kosovo is highly disputed.
Puigdemont argued breakaway regions like Catalonia should not get a different treatment simply because of how borders were set sometime in the past.
Mapmakers will have to make changes many times, because, thankfully, borders do change. Our aspiration is that those changes were enacted not through wars, marriages among royal families, and colonization, but according to the will of the people.
Puigdemont insists that the example of a non-violent battle for independence which he and his supporters set should be welcomed. Otherwise people with similar aspirations would see that “the only way of becoming independent is [through] war and armed conflict,