The Catalan government has announced a referendum on independence which will take place on 1 October 2017.
EFA MEP Jordi Solé from Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya took the floor at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week to inform MEPs from across Europe of the Catalan government's plans.
He defended the democratic right of the Catalan people to determine their own future in the face of 'threats and pressures' from the Spanish authorities, in order to establish a 'modern republic engaged with European values.'
Speaking in the hemicycle Jordi Solé said:
"Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a Republic? The Catalan people will be called by our government to answer that clear question by voting next October the first.
"And despite further threats and pressures that will come from the Spanish authorities — threats and pressures we have become accustomed to — we will make our choice, we will exercise our democratic rights, even if Spain does not want us to.
"Because in democracy, setting out ballot boxes and letting the people vote cannot ever be illegal. And for a democracy, to prevent a legitimate and long sought after vote, would be a dour, perverse undertaking that no democrat should accept.
"The people of Catalonia will vote, because it is our right. And this will be our opportunity to democratically take leave of a state with pervasive corruption, inefficient institutions, a politicised judiciary and with a poor record in social justice. And Europe will then gain a new, modern Republic engaged with the European values."