The Spanish government has threatened to challenge Catalonia’s foreign action plan in court over alleged pro-independence bias. “The plan mentions neither Spain’s foreign affairs service, nor the need [for Catalonia] to coordinate its foreign action plan with Spain’s own, nor the Constitution, and Catalonia is not referred to as an autonomous community but other and more ambiguous expressions are used” said Isabel Celáa, the Spanish government’s acting spokesperson.

The Catalan government has a month to change its plan, which was approved on June 25. If not, the Spanish government will take it to the Constitutional Court, Spain’s highest. According to Celáa, the foreign action of Spain’s autonomous communities (like Catalonia) must respect that at the state level, and follow its principles and guidelines.

The Catalan foreign action minister, Alfred Bosch, dismissed Celáa’s warning as “arbitrary” and stressed that his foreign plan is “legal, legitimate, and necessary.” Catalonia’s foreign policy has been repeatedly challenged by Spain, with both conservative and Socialist governments taking legal action against what they see as a pro-independence service.

Espionage scandal

At the end of July, The High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJ) dismissed the request for precautionary measures brought to by the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, still headed by Josep Borrell, who requested to close the Catalan government’s delegations in London, Berlin and Geneva. The appeal of precautionary measures presented by the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry was linked to an espionage scandal in which it was known that the Spanish ministry had been spying on government representatives in order to close down the three delegations abroad.