For full information in ESO on the Catalan independence referendum, 2017 click here.
Abstracts of the commentary features:
The Catalan crisis owes much to the actions of self-interested politicians on both sides
It is far from clear how relations between Catalonia and Spain will develop following the chaotic scenes that accompanied the referendum on independence. Mariana S. Mendes argues that the stand-off between Catalonia and Madrid now ranks as the greatest political crisis in Spanish democratic history, and that both sides must take responsibility for negotiating a workable solution.
The Catalan crisis and Brexit stem from the same kind of nationalism
Many observers now expect the Catalan government to make a declaration of independence following the 1 October referendum, but what implications would there be for Catalonia if it did become independent? Paul De Grauwe argues that there are parallels between the Catalan independence movement and other forms of nationalism in Europe. He suggests that such political movements present a paradox in a globalised world: when nationalist actors pursue more formal sovereignty, they achieve less real sovereignty of the people.
Without a drastic change in approach, further conflict appears inevitable in Catalonia
Following the Catalan independence referendum on 1 October 2017, there are now concerns over what might happen next. Bonnie N. Field and Astrid Barrio write that a potential declaration of independence by the Catalan government could further escalate tensions and prompt an even more severe clash with the Spanish authorities. Yet without a change of leadership in either Madrid or Catalonia, calls for dialogue to find a consensual resolution to the crisis are likely to fall on deaf ears.
The lesson from Catalonia: We need better principles on who has the right to self-determination and how
The standoff between Spain and Catalonia raises fundamental questions about the rights of citizens to self-determination, and how demands for separatism or greater autonomy should be dealt with by a nation state. Michael Keating writes that the Catalan crisis has emerged from a series of missed opportunities, a lack of dialogue between the two sides, and a disappearing centre ground. He argues that the time may have come for some better European and international principles on who has the right to self-determination and how.
The EU must step in if Spain and Catalonia are to negotiate an end to the crisis
The EU’s institutions and the governments of other EU member states have so far shown reluctance to become involved in the standoff between the Spanish and Catalan governments over Catalan independence. Simon Toubeau argues that if a solution is to be found, the EU will have to take active involvement in facilitating dialogue between the two sides and supporting an outcome that can bring an end to the crisis.
Catalonia and European Democracy
As it intensifies, the Catalan crisis will have wider ramifications for EU politics. One crucial element revolves around the state of European democracy.
The Catalan independence movement is pro-EU – but will the EU accept it?
The crisis in Catalonia has thrown into sharp relief the choice facing the European Union, writes Joan Costa i Font. He argues Spain should quickly offer a binding referendum on Catalan independence. If Catalans reject an EU-backed offer, there could be an orderly secession. The Catalan independence movement is not like Brexit: most Catalan parties are keen to be part of a federal Europe. But with so many other EU regions clamouring for autonomy too, the chance of contagion is high. Europe needs to decide whether it is a confederation of nation states – or a federation of regions, determined democratically at the grassroots.
Dialogue of the deaf? How Catalonia and Spain can be brought back from the brink
All eyes remain on Catalonia, with speculation that the Catalan government will soon issue a unilateral declaration of independence. Paul Kennedy writes that a further revision of Catalonia’s regional Statute, or even an amendment of the constitution, could be possible options for enabling both sides to come to a solution. But it remains to be seen whether the Spanish and Catalan governments are capable of improving on the largely inadequate response they have so far produced to the crisis.
What Catalonia’s suspended declaration of independence means for Catalonia and Spain
Catalonia’s President, Carles Puigdemont, has proposed a suspended declaration of independence to allow negotiations to be pursued between Catalonia and Spain. Luis Moreno argues that there are several ways to read Puigdemont’s position and it is impossible to make a clear prediction about where Catalonia is now headed. However, the situation opens up an opportunity for those parties that are against independence, but supportive of a political compromise, to advance new proposals.
Catalonia: The end of the independence road?
With the Spanish government now implementing direct rule of Catalonia from Madrid, despite the Catalan parliament making a declaration of independence, what lies ahead for both Catalonia and Spain? Luis Moreno explains that the results of the new Catalan elections that have been proposed for 21 December could be key to determining the outcome of the crisis, but other factors such as the response of the pro-independence parties, or the potential for a major constitutional reform, will also be crucial in the weeks and months ahead.
Catalonia’s declaration of independence: What comes next?
The Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence on 27 October, coupled with the Spanish government implementing direct rule over Catalonia, has left Spain facing its greatest political crisis since the country’s transition to democracy. James Irving assesses what might happen next, writing that ultimately it will be the reaction of ordinary citizens that will determine where Catalonia is headed.
The Catalan crisis reflects the failure of Spanish federalism
Catalonia is set to hold regional elections on 21 December, but it is far from clear how the stand-off over Catalan independence will develop following the vote. Joan Costa-Font argues that the rise in support for independence in Catalonia reflects the failure of attempts to construct a federal Spanish state, and that the EU should think carefully about developing mechanisms for ‘internal enlargement’ that would both help solve the Catalan crisis and prevent future secession processes from generating instability.
For a selection of commentary articles written just before the Referendum on 1 October 2017 click here.Commentary features following the referendum held in Catalonia on the 1 October 2017.
+ The Catalan crisis owes much to the actions of self-interested politicians on both sides
+ The Catalan crisis and Brexit stem from the same kind of nationalism
+ Without a drastic change in approach, further conflict appears inevitable in Catalonia
+ The lesson from Catalonia: We need better principles on who has the right to self-determination and how
+ The EU must step in if Spain and Catalonia are to negotiate an end to the crisis
+ Catalonia and European Democracy
+ The Catalan independence movement is pro-EU – but will the EU accept it?
+ Dialogue of the deaf? How Catalonia and Spain can be brought back from the brink
+ What Catalonia’s suspended declaration of independence means for Catalonia and Spain
+ Catalonia’s declaration of independence: What comes next?
+ Catalonia: The end of the independence road?
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