The Catalan Government regrets the decision taken by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation to withdraw the diplomatic status of the Flemish Delegate in Spain, André Hebbelinck, as well as not to accredit any other person in this position in a future.
The European project is built every day sharing common goals from distinct positions and opinions. Strengthening economic, cultural, social, and more specifically, diplomatic relations, is an obligation of every government and institution as a member of the EU. The decision of the Spanish Government is contrary to the principle of free speech that guarantees citizens and their elected representatives to freely express their opinions.
The Catalan Government will continue working to strengthen relations with the Flemish Government, its institutions and its citizens, with whom we share projects as well as the European commitment. This year is the tenth anniversary of the Catalonia-Flanders Plan, a collaboration agreement between the two governments to promote relations in different fields, which will soon be laid out specifically in the 2019-2020 work programme. The Catalan Government expresses its determination to consolidate and broaden relations with the Belgian Government, as well as with all the European governments and institutions.