The Permanent Representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU, Amadeu Altafaj, was invited to give a speech on the eve of Flemish Community Day in Kortrijk. Together with Geert Bourgeois, and the mayor of Kortrijk, Vincent van Quickenborne, the representative spoke on Flanders’s role in the context of the EU.
Altafaj affirmed that the European Union “needs to remain faithful to its values but should protect and value its diversity […] this will not make the project weaker but stronger”. “Unfortunately, 'united in diversity' is a motto that is not always applied and the EU is too often limited to a classical union of states structure”, he added.
The Permanent Representative to the EU also criticised that the ‘Europe of the Regions’ was an effectively “unsuccessful project”, noting that Flanders and Catalonia “can barely take part in the EU decision making process even though they both have significant administrative and legal competences”.
Lastly, on commenting on the outcome of the UK referendum, Amadeu Altafaj sustained that “the result of the referendum shows that the EU cannot neglect the existence of the various realities within Europe”. He also explained that the Government of Catalonia urges the EU to immediately start negotiations with the United Kingdom and “to make efforts to reconnect with all EU citizens”.