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Catalonia, Spain, and Europe are Better Together

No state would ever allow the unilateral secession of a territory that forms part of its constitutional order. And no democrat should support the path taken by Catalonia's separatist leaders, who won less than 48% of the votes cast in regional elections.

MADRID – Above all, Europe is freedom, peace, and progress. We must move forward with these values and make Europe the leading model of integration and social justice that protects its citizens. The Europe we aspire to, the Europe we need, the Europe we are building is based on democratic stability within member states and cannot accept the unilateral breach of its integrity. The Europe we admire has been built on the principle of overlapping identities and equality for all citizens, and on the rejection of nationalist ideologies and extremism.

For this reason, the challenge of separatism in Catalonia, devised against and outside Spain’s constitutional framework, and silencing the majority of Catalans who are against independence, is a challenge for Europe and Europeans. Preserving these values in Catalonia today means protecting the open and democratic Europe for which we stand.

Spain enshrined these values in 1978, when it created and ratified a fully democratic constitution. That historic document was endorsed by almost 88% of voters in a referendum. In Catalonia, support and turnout were even higher: some 90.5% of Catalans backed the new constitution.