Fugitive ex-Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has joined dozens of pro-Catalonia independence supporters in a protest outside the European Commission a day after the conviction of 12 colleagues in Spain for their role in a secession push led by him in 2017.

Mr Puigdemont said “we need the whole support of European democrats.

“Because that crisis concerns European democracy and the quality of European democracy. It is not a Catalan, a regional or a Spanish issue.”

Belgium Spain Catalonia
Carles Puigdemont joined the demonstration (Francisco Seco/AP)

A Spanish judge has issued a new international arrest order for Mr Puigdemont.

His colleagues say he is willing to cooperate with Belgian police and authorities.

Mr Puigdemont and other Catalan representatives fleeing justice in Spain demand international institutions end their silence and help create a dialogue between the Spanish government and Catalan pro-independence authorities.