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The Catalan government has supported the creation of a system allowing for the "internal expansion of the European Union", in other words, a procedure by which "new states, democratically created within the EU, continue to form part of it".

Such a mechanism would allow new countries, when created following the "democratic" split of a member state, to remain members of the EU, without requiring them to go through the normal process to join.

The suggestion appears in the white paper for the Catalan government's European Plan, a document which sets out the executive's stance and vision towards the EU, presented in Brussels this Wednesday by the Catalan foreign ministry's secretary of state for the European Union, Mireia Borrell.

The document sets out the government's plans for the next few years when it comes to Europe, to be marked by the call for a "more decentralised" Europe which is "closer to the public" and a defence of Catalan society's "Europeanist will", in Borrell's words.

"Europe is Catalonia's natural space, both geographically and culturally", said Borrell, who went on to say the task at hand now is to communicate their ideas to the institutions and that there's a need to start a debate on the self-determination of peoples around Europe. "It's not true that this matter only affects countries internally," she said.

"From Catalonia, we want to contribute to the European project holding our own positions on the great debates", she said, adding there's a need for Catalonia to have a "louder voice in Europe".