Europeans to rally for independent self-determination at Brussels parliament 


European conference to support self-determination for independence movements

EUROPEAN NATIONS with independence and autonomy movements will unite in the EU’s administrative capital this week for a conference supporting the right to self-determination. 

The International Commission of European Citizens (ICEC), which links activists from Scotland to similar groups across the continent, will host a special conference in the European Parliament at a time when independence remains high on the agenda for Catalonia and Scotland. 

The full day conference includes six members of the European Parliament from across Catalonia, the Basque Country, Ireland, Wales, and Flanders. 

The office of Flemish MEP Mark Demesmaeker told CommonSpace the event will focus on “the general principles of self-determination, current events in Scotland and Catalonia and the attitude of the European institutions.”

The conference takes place at a historic moment for independence movements in Europe, and for the European Union itself. 

The President of Catalonia has announced plans for a 2017 referendum on independence, following previous victories for independence in an unrecognised ballot in 2014, and then a majority of pro-independence Catalan MPs being elected in 2015. 

In Scotland, the re-election of a Tory majority government in 2015, and the vote in England and Wales to leave the EU has reignited the independence debate that created a mass movement in the summer of 2014. 

Meanwhile, the European Union is threatened by various populist, nationalist movements in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Netherlands – who want to see EU integration unravel. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated that a fresh referendum is “highly likely” if the Tories continue their pursuit of a ‘hard Brexit’ against Scotland’s democratic vote and wider economic interests. 

Both the Catalan and Scottish Governments support becoming member states of the European Union. 

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Martin Shultz marked a cultural shift towards Scotland by holding high profile meetings with Sturgeon last year. 

The lead negotiators for the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, supports Scotland remaining in the European Union.  

Picture courtesy of Council of the EU

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