Today President of self-proclaimed Catalan Republic Carles Puigdemont visits Brussels for a number of high-profile meeting in Belgium government and with the EU diplomats. Although the visit is not advertised, there is an understanding that the EU institutions and Belgium government face a pressure from Madrid, and the situation is delicate and fragile, so the visit is conducted with a discretion.
On contrary to what many outlets wrote, President Puigdemont is not searching for an asylum, or an opportunity to stay in Belgium, but to launch a meaningful dialogue with Madrid via the joint efforts with the EU and Belgium diplomacy.
There is a little faith among the EU diplomats that Madrid and Barcelona can resolve the argument without the assistance of international mediators. There are also fears of consequences of a protracted argument for Eurozone, and negative impact on the economy of Kingdom of Spain.
There is a lot of sympathy for Catalan aspiration of freedom in Brussels corridors of power – the factor of public opinion impossible to ignore, and there are very few of those in favor of Madrid’s forceful scenarios within prosecutor’s rhetoric. At the moment there is a lot of expectation from the diplomatic efforts to find a balanced solution for the crisis without a lot of image and financial losses for either of the involved sides, including the EU.