The Press Club Brussels Europe was at the forefront of world news on 31 October, when Carles Puigdemont, the deposed Catalan president, held is press conference there. Never before had our premises been so crowded: hundreds of journalists, including some 70 television crews, gathered there for the first public appearance of the Catalan leader since his departure from Barcelona. The whole world had its eyes on Brussels, the capital of Europe, and on our Press Club.
In hosting Carles Puigdemont and his companions, the PCBE was true to itself. We are of course uncompromising defenders of freedom of expression. But our vocation is also to be a place of dialogue at the heart of Europe. Dialogue is among the most beautiful of European values …
The Catalan case is tremendously complicated. We do not wish to engage in political analysis here, neither do we intend to judge. Our aim is to join our voice to those who condemn all forms of violence: violence simply does not belong in the European Union.
Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, has had the courage to say and say again : the Catalan crisis is not a legal crisis, it is a political one, and it will be overcome only through dialogue.