MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union would accept an independent Catalonia despite Spain’s veto on holding an independence referendum this autumn, a report by Catalonia's National Transition Advisory Council has concluded.
“The hypothetical veto by the Spanish state could obstruct and delay the incorporation of the new state in the EU, but it would not cause a very significant delay, because the disadvantages for the EU and the other member states of a slow or postponed entry would be much more significant than the meager benefits it might mean for them,” the report released Tuesday said.
The analysis of the legal position of a hypothetical independent Catalonia comes in the wake of last week’s vote by the Spanish Parliament rejecting a petition by the Catalan Government on holding an independence referendum this November.
Tuesday’s report laid out four possible scenarios for the region if it chooses to declare independence.
The first would be automatic integration into the EU. The second possibility would be temporary isolation from the EU followed by joining the bloc. The third scenario sees Catalonia applying for membership and waiting in line alongside Turkey and Serbia. The fourth scenario is EU rejection of Catalonian membership.
The report also says economic arguments would pave the way for Catalonia’s entry into the EU, with the first scenario as the most likely option.
Earlier this month, the Spanish parliament held a seven-hour debate, ultimately rejecting Catalonia’s bid to hold an independence referendum, with 299 lawmakers voting against, 47 in favor and one abstention.
Catalan politicians vowed to go ahead and hold the vote anyway. According to a recent poll, about half of Catalonia’s population of 7.5 million would vote for independence.
Catalonia accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economic output and many pro-referendum supporters say that breaking with the rest of Spain will grant more economic privileges to residents of the region.