Spanish ex-Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos talks on Catalonia's bid for independence & future of the EU

Former foreign minister of Spain Miguel Angel Moratinos joins SophieCo to weigh in on the Catalonia’s future, its independence aspirations and the future of the EU.

“Catalonia is Spain. It will always be Spain,” Moratinos says. Since Puigdemont unilaterally declared independence following the October 2017 referendum, the region has been deprived of its autonomy and put under Madrid’s direct rule.

Giving autonomy back is one of the options to the Catalan crisis, according to Moratinos. “The question is if we can improve the autonomy,” he says, noting that it needs to be done “in accordance with the constitutional order of Spain.” 

European governments also made it clear they didn’t welcome Catalonia’s breakaway. “Members of the European Union are not going to recognize Catalonia,” Moratinos says, adding, “there will be no possibility for Catalonia as a national state to integrate with EU institutions.” 

The ex-minister also touched upon the future of European integration. “We cannot continue with this enlargement process as there’s no clear objective of what kind of Europe we’re looking for,” Moratinos claims. Either it’s “a large area of free trade” or “a strong, integrated supranational Europe.” As for the rise of Euroscepticism across the bloc, Moratinos says the message that “Europe is dead” is wrong. “If we were so bad, nobody would knock at our door.” 

Check out the full episode of SophieCo with Miguel Angel Moratinos.