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Official Statement about the withdrawal of the diplomatic status of the Flemish Delegate in Spain

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The Catalan Government regrets the decision taken by the Spanish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation to withdraw the diplomatic
status of the Flemish Delegate in Spain, André Hebbelinck, as well as not to accredit
any other person in this position in a future.

The European project is built every day sharing common goals from distinct
positions and opinions. Strengthening economic, cultural, social, and more
specifically, diplomatic relations, is an obligation of every government and
institution as a member of the EU. The decision of the Spanish Government is
contrary to the principle of free speech that guarantees citizens and their elected
representatives to freely express their opinions.

The Catalan Government will continue working to strengthen relations with the
Flemish Government, its institutions and its citizens, with whom we share projects
as well as the European commitment.

This year is the tenth anniversary of theCatalonia-Flanders Plan, a collaboration agreement between the two governmentsto promote relations in different fields, which will soon be laid out specifically in the
2019-2020 work programme. The Catalan Government expresses its determination
to consolidate and broaden relations with the Belgian Government, as well as with
all the European governments and institutions.

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