In the first debate ever among the official candidates to chair the European Commission, Catalonia’s self-determination process, the referendum and the EU membership of a hypothetical Catalan independent state was discussed.
After a question from the debate’s host, Italian journalist Monica Maggioni, about Scotland and Catalonia, each of the five candidates shared their views on the issue. Juncker (People’s Party) and Schultz (Socialist) called for respect for constitutional frameworks and insisted that Scotland and Catalonia are internal matters for the UK and Spain.
Verhofstadt (Liberals) emphasised that the EU has to listen to the citizens and that it cannot intervene in a negative way, as it has done so far in this issue. Keller (Greens) promised that if Scots and Catalans vote for independence, she will work for an automatic membership. Tsipras (Alternative Left) recognised the right to self-determination but suggested greater autonomy within their respective countries as the best solution for Catalonia and Scotland.