European Commission urges ‘respect for Spanish constitution’ in Catalonia crisis

The European Commission called on Wednesday for "full respect of Spanish constitutional order" after Catalan leaders said they had a mandate for independence but 'suspended' the declaration in the hope of dialogue.

European Commission urges 'respect for Spanish constitution' in Catalonia crisis
European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis. Photo: Raigo Pajula

Brussels has stood firmly with Madrid in the crisis surrounding Catalonia's October 1st referendum on independence, which Spanish courts declared illegitimate, but called for talks to defuse the situation, which has rocked the European Union.

READ ALSO: Catalan president 'assumes mandate for independent state' but suspends declaration

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said that commissioners had “briefly” discussed the issue at their weekly meeting on Wednesday, a day after Calatan leader Carles Puigdemont said there was a mandate to split from Madrid.

“The commision is following closely the sitation in Spain and reiterates its earlier call for full respect of the Spanish constitutional order,” Dombrovskis told reporters in Brussels.

He said the commssion, the executive arm of the 28-nation European Union, trusted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “and all political forces who are working towards a solution within the framework of the Spanish constitution”.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was in “constant contact” with Rajoy, Dombrovskis said.

Rajoy has vowed to do everything in his power to prevent Catalan independence and has threatened to suspend Catalonia's regional autonomy.

READ ALSO: Spanish PM Rajoy asks Catalan leaders to clarify if they 'declared independence'