The euro deputy for the Popular Party Santiago Fisas sent a written question to the European Commission on the independence of Catalonia on 21 July, asking whether the Commission would recognise an independent Catalan state created by a declaration that would not respect the Spanish constitution, and which ‘aims to break Spain’s territorial integrity and would not be recognised by the Spanish government’. The reply from the Commission, signed by the president Jean Claude Juncker, arrived the day before yesterday, but with different texts in the English version and the Spanish version. Now that the news has hit the media and the networks, the European Commission is investigating whether the Spanish text was manipulated. This was explained by the spokesperson for the CE, Natasha Bertaud, who said that the valid version was the English, in answer to a question from the journalist Albert Segura. The Commission had previously decided to remove the two replies from the web.

The text in English simply says that the European Commission cannot give an opinion on questions of the internal organisation of member states. However, the Spanish text includes a paragraph in which there is a pronouncement against the independence of Catalonia. The assistants to the CDC euro deputy Ramon Tremosa, Aleix Sarri and Marga Payola, reported the letter on Twitter, and said that someone had manipulated the official replies of the Commission.

The hypothetical Spanish version says that the Commission ‘will respect the essential functions of the state and especially those intended to guarantee territorial integrity’. And it adds, ‘The determination of the territory of a member state is established only by the national constitutional law, and not by the decision of an autonomic parliament against the constitution of that state.’

Read the English version and the Spanish version:

English:

«EN
E-011776/2015
Answer given by President Juncker
on behalf of the Commission
(21.9.2015)

It is not for the Commission to express a position on questions of internal organisation related to the constitutional arrangements of a particular Member State. 

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written question         P-009058/2014.»

Spanish:

«ES
E-011776/2015
Respuesta del presidente Juncker
en nombre de la Comisión
(21.9.2015)

La Comisión remite a Su Señoría a la respuesta dada a la pregunta escrita P-009058/2014.

No le corresponde a la Comisión manifestar su opinión sobre cuestiones de organización interna relacionadas con las disposiciones constitucionales de un Estado miembro en particular.

La Comisión recuerda en este contexto que, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el artículo 4, apartado 2, del TUE, la Unión debe respetar la «identidad nacional [de los Estados miembros], inherente a las estructuras fundamentales políticas y constitucionales de éstos, también en lo referente a la autonomía local y regional. Respetará las funciones esenciales del Estado, especialmente las que tienen por objeto garantizar su integridad territorial». La determinación del territorio de un Estado miembro está únicamente establecida por el Derecho constitucional nacional, y no por una decisión de un Parlamento autonómico contraria a la constitución de dicho Estado.»

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