Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, received Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This handshake that happened exactly one year ago probably made most Catalans believe that they can make ends meet on their own (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/09/2013)

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, received Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This handshake that happened exactly one year ago probably made most Catalans believe that they can make ends meet on their own (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/09/2013)

The fact that Scotland’s vote for independence was a milestone in the separatist movements’ history within the European Union was already clear. In the last weeks everybody was looking northwards as it was evident that any decision by the Scots would have changed the path and probably the weight of the regionalist parties inside the parliament houses of the European countries. According to this idea I guess it would be normal to say that Scotland’s rejection of independence is a real setback for those movements’ cause, right? Maybe, but this is far from the reality. Unexpectedly Scotland’s referendum has boosted separatist movements anyway. And now Catalonia’s case is the proof.

What many were afraid of happened anyway in the wealthy North-Eastern region of Spain: last Friday Catalonia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of giving its regional President the right to call a vote on independence from Spain. The move came just a day after Scotland voted against independence from the United Kingdom, surprising all those people who were thinking “straight”, as I said a few lines ago. But Catalan President Artur Mas’ declaration explains it all: “Scotland’s referendum had ‘shown the way’ for Catalonian independence”, he stated to the BBC. And this is exactly how separatist movements in Europe will behave and re-organise their own strategy: to go beyond Scotland’s “Yes” front’s defeat, asking for the same right that Scotland was given. The right to vote.

That’s why Mr Mas earlier said that Scotland’s rejection of independence was “not a setback” and that having the chance to vote was “the key point”. “This is a powerful and strong message that the UK is sending to the entire world” the head of Catalonia’s regional movement declared at a news conference. “Scotland’s referendum opens the way for us, because what happened there is that they voted […] and what we really want in Catalonia is to have […] the same possibility”, he added. The takeaway message was that a referendum had taken place, and this way the regional Parliament in Barcelona voted (106 to 28) to give to its leader the power to call a vote on independence which is planned for November 9 2014.

The Spanish government has repeatedly said that such vote would be illegal and would violate Spain’s constitution. Unlike London, Madrid has never allowed Catalonia or any other region to organize a referendum for independence, and therefore any attempt should be considered as “not official” and not leading to immediate secession anyway. Of course Mr Mas counts on the fact that an overwhelming “Yes” majority would give him a political mandate to negotiate a path towards independence with Madrid. The main issue for the Catalans would “only” be that Spain’s constitution doesn’t allow referendums that don’t include all Spaniards. Santi Rodriguez, a member of the Catalan regional parliament who represents Prime Minister Rajoy’s centre-right Popular Party, said it wouldn’t be possible for only Catalonians to vote, claiming that “there are not just seven million of us who would be affected by this – there are forty-seven million.”

Spain’s Premier didn’t mention Catalonia in his statement about Scotland’s referendum on Friday. “With their decision, Scots have avoided the large economic, social, institutional and political consequences that separation would have brought”, he said. And even with no direct citation to the turmoil inside his own country, he was harsh on any consequence led by separatist desires: “[The Scots] chose between integration and segregation, between isolation and openness, between stability and uncertainty, between security and a real risk, and they have chosen the most favourable option for everyone”.

Scotland’s question first and now Catalonia’s one have brought back attention to those various separatist movements across Europe. Italy’s Veneto and Sardinia as well as Belgium’s Dutch-speaking Flanders are quoted as the next areas in Europe which would get some key takeaways from this situation. Separatist and regional movement may flourish in the next months following Scotland’s and, most of all, Catalonia’s examples. For sure this is no golden era for those like me who believe in a Europe of fewer rather than more borders, and differences enforcing unity, still being in favour of giving to the people the right to express themselves.

Earlier this month hundreds of thousands of Catalans formed a “V” for “vote” in Barcelona’s main roads calling for their right to vote. What I think should be analysed carefully is whether the “V” for vote corresponds to “V” for victory all the times.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

US pardons for accused war criminals, contrary to international law: UN rights office

EU Border and Coast Guard: new corps of 10 000 border and coast guards by 2027

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

These countries have the best work-life balance

EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

The role companies play in boosting growth in emerging markets

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

Resiliency is the key to strong investments in a chaotic world

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

OECD warns global economy remains weak as subdued trade drags down growth

UN welcomes ‘most comprehensive agreement ever’ on global health

Brexit: the time has come for the UK to clarify its position

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

Libya: Heavy shelling and civilian deaths ‘blatant violation’ of international law – UN envoy

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

How Britain’s backyard bird feeders are shaping evolution

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Women in peacekeeping, the arrest of Sudan’s leader, updates on Libya, Nigeria and Syria

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

Ebola fight ongoing amid evidence of ‘several massacres’ in DR Congo’s Ituri province

What the future of trust looks like

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Banks launch green charter to help shipping reduce its carbon footprint

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

First 17 “European Universities” selected: a major step towards building a European Education Area

The Catcher in the Rice

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

US-EU trade war: Berlin fearful of the second round

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Malaysia has achieved high levels of growth, but must do more to address governance and social challenges

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

The number of internally displaced people is at a record high. Here’s why

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

World’s human rights watchdog spotlights Afghanistan, Yemen and 12 others: Here’s the scoop

EU elections 2019: Trump’s share in the support of populism

Daughter of 2019 Sakharov Prize winner Ilham Tohti receives prize on his behalf

Can the EU last long if it cuts Cyprus out?

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

In polarized America, a new divide looms

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Catalonia is Spain says:

    Nice way to hide corruption. Go Mas Go!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s