Josep Borrell is going to Europe to act as High Representative for EU Foreign Policy leaving behind a trail of unfortunate actions as foreign affairs minister of the Kingdom of Spain. The Catalan, born in Pobla de Segur, closes a stage of more than a year representing Spanish foreign policy, with a newly exposed hit of his mandate: that the Catalan government delegations abroad were being spied on. Disproportionate zeal? It does not seem that exactly, since it has emerged that the Spanish foreign ministry had passed confidential messages from the Catalan government to its embassies and that this material is now being used against the Catalan delegations in London, Geneva and Berlin to ask the High Court of Justice in Catalonia for their closure.
He will have to give explanations in the Spanish Congress (Parliament), as requested by the ruling Catalan coalition, pro-independence parties ERC and Junts per Catalunya. The parliamentary majorities in Madrid are well known and Borrell shall have, in addition to his own party PSOE's support, the handy votes of the Partido Popular (PP) and Ciudadanos (Cs). But that does not take an inch of the worry his way of acting produces. Indeed, if he has done it with Catalan government delegations abroad, who is now to guarantee he shall not see fit to follow that sort of performance, the events, the interviews, the agenda or anything else, targeting other EU countries?
I doubt very much that this is the best profile for a foreign minister, a position that is much more about reconciling than wearing the executive suit and plunging into stardom out of all kinds of controversies. Last Wednesday, British lawyer Ben Emmerson, member of the international defense of the Catalan pro-independence prisoners, launched a campaign against the appointment of Borrell in the EU. It considers that it is inadequate and that it will cause significant damage to the EU. Yet, beyond Emmerson's position, Borrell is still risking some measure of punishment vote in the European Parliament, despite his previous term as EU president may still be more present than the recent hooligan he has become in his latest phase as a politician .