SPAIN has rebuked the European Union’s pleas to participate in an upcoming summit and instead the country’s prime minister has vowed to boycott the crucial meeting that will outline the bloc’s expansion future.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met with the European Council president Donald Tusk yesterday, as the EU desperately urged Spain to come to a bloc summit in mid-May.
However, Mr Rajoy rebuked Mr Tusk’s pleas and pledged that Spain will boycott the Bulgaria summit between the European Union and Western Balkans.
The Sofia summit is held up as a crucial meeting for the future of the bloc, as expansion of the EU will be a key topic on the agenda.
Spain has blamed its boycott on the fact that Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will also be present at the summit.
Mr Rajoy is fearful of being pictured alongside the Kovoso leader since this could hand legitimacy to separatist leaders of Catalonia as a justification for their independence.
Spain is one of the five EU member countries which has not recognised Kosovo’s independence.
Kosovo controversially declared independence in 2008 in a unilateral move to seperate from Serbia.
However, leaders of Slovakia, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus, countries which have not recognised Kosovo’s independence, are all expected to attend the summit.
Following Mr Tusk’s failure yesterday to persuade the Spanish leader, diplomatic officials in the EU are desperately looking at other ways to ensure Spain’s involvement, such as removing the Kosovo flag from the event.
Spain missing the meeting would be an unprecedented blow to the unity of the EU, just as the bloc tries to consolidate itself post-Brexit.
Bulgaria’s EU presidency team has confirmed they expect “the leaders of all 28 EU member-states and 6 countries from the Western Balkans to meet in Sofia”.