DEPOSED Catalan president Carles Puigdemont will risk arrest next week when he leaves his Brussels exile for the first time since October 30.

He will take part in a University of Copenhagen conference on Monday. It has been organised by the university’s Department of Political Sciences, and is titled: Catalonia and Europe at a Crossroads for Democracy?

It will increase pressure on Spain’s central government as Puigdemont tries to get his old job back.

Janni Brixen, a media officer with the university’s Faculty of Social Science, said Puigdemont would attend “in person”.

A spokeswoman for Puigdemont’s Together for Catalonia (JxCat) also confirmed that he was planning to travel to Copenhagen “representing the legitimate government of Catalonia”.

He is facing charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement arising from a unilateral declaration of independence in October.

Puigdemont said yesterday that he can use new technologies to remain president of Catalonia – and thinks he can “serve people better” from Brussels than becoming a prisoner. And, in an interview with Catalan public radio, he insisted that Catalan parliament regulations “do not forbid” taking office from outside the state.

“Between being president or becoming a prisoner, I’d rather be president,” said the JxCat leader. “You cannot be president if you are a prisoner.”

When asked what would happen if King Felipe VI refused to sign the decree appointing him as president, Puigdemont replied: “If parliament ratifies me as president, the head of state does not have the right to stop this legal and constitutional mandate.”

He said the case for ruling remotely has been made by the Spanish government, which was running the Catalan administration from Madrid, under Article 155 of the constitution, and Spain’s Popular Party (PP) was governing Catalonia despite being the smallest party in its parliament.

“What is better: controlling the Catalan government from Madrid or doing it from Catalonia and a part of Europe?” he said. “What is better: controlling the economy with four MPs, or with 70?”

“We have a parliament that is the reflection of the will of citizenship ... There is no plan B.”

Puigdemont said he hoped Oriol Junqueras, his sacked vice-president who is in prison without trial, would be able to take up his post again.

“Junqueras should not have entered the jail and should be able to do this if people have trusted him ...

“The investiture must come within the framework of the regulation, which does not explicitly prohibit [that it] can be done, the formula that we propose fits in the regulation, we will not ask for it to change, that will not happen.”

The decision on whether to allow Puigdemont to be sworn into office remotely now lies with the new president of the Catalan parliament Roger Torrent, who took up his appointment on Wednesday.

“I have to guarantee that the candidate [for president] can be elected,” he said.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that the cost of sending up to 6000 officers from Spain’s National Police Corps and Civil Guard officers to police the Catalan independence referendum last Ocober cost around €87 million (£77m).

Spanish interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido blamed Puigdemont’s government and the “resounding disobedience and absolute passivity” of the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Police).

He told the Spanish Senate’s interior commission the economic cost to Catalonia was further €1 billion (£880m): “A cost that we must add to the €1bn in which the Ministry of Economy calculates the impact of the deceleration of four or five tenths of the Catalan GDP growth or the 35 per cent decrease in hotel reservations.”