Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Catalonia in a European frame

LSE's blog Europp has published an article of mine that starts like this "The current conflict in Spain over the constitutional future of Catalonia cannot be resolved without reference to our European reality. The leaders of the Catalan and Spanish governments are essentially fighting over something which no longer exists in Europe: national sovereignty. The controversy over how to democratically decide the future of Catalonia illustrates the difficulties of engaging in this debate without recognising the world of complex and overlapping sovereignty that now exists, and which has to some extent left the nation state behind. Antoni Zabalza, Professor of Economics at Valencia University, argued in an article in the Spanish newspaper El Pais on 21 November that projecting the data of participants in the ‘consultation’ of 9 November (where everybody who wanted to vote could do it) on a legal referendum with high turnout, the yes vote would reach 44 per cent of the electorate. The figure is similar to what could be projected from the vote of pro-independence parties in past regional elections. The question is whether these sources of information should be complemented with an official, decisive referendum on independence like the one that took place in Scotland. The Economist’s editorial proposing such a referendum, in their words to defeat independence in Catalonia, gives me the opportunity to express my opinion once more about this issue." The rest of the article can be read here.

1 comment:

  1. Regional independence makes sense if the region feels it is treated unfairly by the central government.

    That's an opportunity for the central government to demonstrate fair treatment. If that is actually the case, regional independence is utter nonsense. Everyone is part of larger European frameworks anyway, but I'm afraid, central governments are playing with loaded dice in most cases. They don't rush to show fairness. Much rather, they use double talk and constitutional mumbo jumbo to avoid fair play. That's what keeps independence movements in good shape.

    The golden rule saves the day: do unto others as you would be done by. Treat regions the way you'd like to be treated living in a region, and you'll get commitment to unity. Size matters in the modern world, intact member states are simply larger markets and thus benefit from the economies of scale.