Fugitive Catalan politician Carles Puigdemont has avoided arrest despite a failed attempt by Spanish prosecutors to reactive an international arrest warrant. Spain's Supreme Court rejected the request after the former president of Catalonia flew to Denmark from Belgium.
Puigdemont's visit to Copenhagen is thought to be his first outside Belgium since he fled there in late October.
Addressing a debate at the University of Copenhagen, a defiant Puigdemont insisted Catalonia's independence movement would not bow to Spanish authority.
"On December 21, the Catalan people sent a message to Europe and the world: we will not surrender to authoritarianism. Despite Madrid's threat, soon we will form a new government. And it is time to negotiate. It is time to end the repression and find a political solution for Catalonia.
He added, "Because what is at stake here is the ideal of democracy in the whole of Europe and not only in my country". Wanted in Spain for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds, Puigdemont is vying to return as Catalonia's president following December's snap election in Catalonia which gave separatist parties a small overall majority.
Earlier, the Catalan parliament's newly elected speaker Roger Torrent declared that the self-exiled politician's bid to head the region's next government was completely legitimate.
However, Madrid has insisted Puigdemont will not be allowed to govern from abroad, even if his supporters say this could be done with modern technology.