Raül Romeva welcomed six election observers this afternoon at Catalonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first to respond to the government's call for an international presence to supervise preparations for the referendum. On Friday morning, the International Delegation of Election Observers was approved by Catalonia’s Electoral Office, in accordance with the law governing the referendum, according to Romeva in declarations made following the meeting. The group is headed by Daan Everts, who has a long career in the Dutch diplomatic service and other international bodies. He is joined by other international observers from the UK, the United States, France and Poland.
Everts announced that his role is to "verify" that the 1-O [1 October] referendum is organized correctly, while expressing the committee’s "interest" in responding to the Catalan government’s appeal for international observers. Everts made it clear that his work, which consists of "supervising the entire process" of organizing the vote, is "completely impartial", stating that "we have no political preference, we are independent". Far from positioning himself with regard to the legitimacy of the referendum —which has been forbidden by Spain and its accompanying law suspended by the Constitutional Court—, Everts stated that "this is a crucial period" and stressed his desire to witness at first-hand how the "democratic exercise" plays out.
Everts was the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s former ambassador during the Kosovo independence process. Romeva thanked Everts for the group’s presence and declared himself to be "at their disposal" with respect to "anything they may need in the coming days".