The Minister for Foreign Action, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Alfred Bosch, spoke this morning at a plenary session of the Committee of the Regions, held in the European Parliament. “Fundamental rights are being challenged all across Europe, including in the Spanish state,” said Bosch. The minister appealed to members to put themselves in Catalans’ shoes: “We ask you to feel Catalan. We ask you to be Catalan. We ask you to act Catalan.”
Bosch pointed out the inconsistency of the EU’s position. “Democracy, human rights, dialogue – they’re all being challenged – and, yes, also in the Kingdom of Spain,” he said. “How can we be so strict with those applying to enter the EU and not so strict with member states? We’re giving the wrong message.”
Bosch put a series of questions to the plenary: “Did you see the police crackdown on peaceful voters in October 2017? Did you see a government, like your own governments, being suspended? […] Did you see this government in jail, and sitting in jail for more than one year now, accused of organising a vote?” Faced with this situation, the minister asked: “Can you remain silent? We’re all fellow citizens. We’re Europeans. We share values and fundamental rights. Let’s share those values. We will uphold them.”
Bosch made these points at a plenary session of the Committee, within the framework of a debate on fundamental rights and the values of the European Union. The session was chaired by Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, and attended by Koen Lenaerts, president of the European Court of Justice.
As the Catalan government’s Minister for Foreign Action, Bosch has been a member of the Committee of the Regions since February of this year.