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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to ‘achieve their full potential’ says UN chief

Microsoft says the internet is getting a little nicer

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

UN experts report: Business ‘dragging its feet’ on human rights worldwide

Global ageing is a challenge – and an opportunity

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

New rules for temporary border controls within the Schengen area

How ducks are helping Bangladeshi farmers cope with cyclones

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

Anti-vaccers: does the empty can rattle the most?

Eurogroup asked to reduce public debts of its member states

MEPs want robust EU cyber defence and closer ties with NATO

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

The sun’s impact on Earth and weather celebrated, as planet marks World Meteorological Day

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

Better Regulation principles: at the heart of the EU’s decision-making process

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster

Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

The financial future of Eurozone on the agenda of Friday’s ECOFIN council

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

EU Commission spends billions without achieving targets

Youth for Climate Change

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Ban Ki-Moon Closing Address at COP21 Action Day Innovation, Imagination, Faster Climate Action

Eurozone: New data show recession and debt closer to explosion

First Western Sahara talks at UN in six years, begin in Geneva

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

Presidents of pan-European youth organisations call upon the European Council to preserve the Schengen principles

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Security Council hails ‘historic and significant’ joint peace declaration by Ethiopia and Eritrea

Environment Committee MEPs push for cleaner trucks and electric buses

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

“A divided Europe is not in China’s interests”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU welcomes Brussels

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

Commission makes it easier for citizens to access health data securely across borders

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

More than 750 million people around the world would migrate if they could

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

The inhumane face of crisis mirrored in numbers

Long live Eurozone’s bank supervisor down with the EU budget supremo

‘Critical test’ for North Korea’s Government as civilian suffering remains rife, warns UN rights expert

Following the World Cup? Then you’re watching high-performing migrants at work

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

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

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

European Youth Forum and youngest MEPs call on President Juncker to keep his promise to Europe’s youth

Falsified medicines: new rules to enhance patients’ safety

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

Banks, insurance giants are free again to abuse the real economy

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

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