Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / Present and future of Europe / Articles
Identity crisis in Spain
Material posted: Publication date: 10-02-2018
In January 2017 in Foreign Affairs published an article “World Order 2.0”, in which special attention is paid to the concept of self-determination, right to self-determination of society. Interestingly, the position of the author (Richard Haass) is highly critical of this concept and what is happening on the basis of its political perturbations. The main idea here is to abolish the unlimited right of society to achieve political sovereignty.

Getting state status in any society is a sensitive issue for countries whose territories are exposed to secession. Therefore the author proposes to consider the attempts of statehood only in case of observance of four points: first, the historical justification/explanation, then - convincing justification, popular support, and finally, the viability of a new political entity. Furthermore, before giving its territory to States where these processes occur, the challenge of monitoring the mood of the population, support such a political step; the authorities should conduct a series of consultations before making any diplomatic moves[1].

The concept of secession, separation, separatism are closely connected with modern Europe. Significantly increased the importance of issues such as: the viability of the European Union, its future; the chaotic situation caused by PACSICOM; separatism; the immigration crisis and, finally, the preservation of the EU as a whole. Whether this structure is immune from fragmentation? Recent political events prove the weakness of the EU, and the desire of some members of the Union to have greater political and economic autonomy (we are talking about Hungary and Poland) gradually lead to a serious split. The range of problems not limited to relationships between members of the European Union, much more serious is the situation within countries.

Deep inside the EU continues to brew separatist sentiments, somewhere at a slower pace, for example, in Belgium, in other cases it is clearly manifested, for example, in the case of Spain. Friction between French and Dutch parts of Belgium are local, but how long will the unity of the country, to predict while difficult.

Separatist groups pose a serious challenge for the European authorities, among which we can highlight the coalition "Together for Catalunya", the Basque radical left, the Flemish movement, the Scottish national party.

The inability of the political institutions of the EU to cope/overcome economic, cultural, ethnic and religious differences and problems - strengthen separatist moods. Territorial integrity is under threat.

Europe's most successful regions and countries of always striving for more independence in both political and economic terms. The success of the micro-regions serve as a catalyst to the struggle for more autonomy and rights.

Tectonic shifts in the direction of secession, independence was a worldwide phenomenon. An example of the Spanish Autonomous community one of the most discussed lately in the media. A failed state, a self-proclaimed 27 October last year, is torn from within by belligerent political forces of Catalonia and the Central government.

The first of October 2017 in Catalonia, a referendum was held, which was attended by at least 43% of the population of the region. The majority voted in favor of preserving the integrity of Spain. As soon as Generalitat of Catalonia declared independence, the Spanish constitutional court declared the vote illegal, initiated the activation of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, after which the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy has imposed direct control in the region.

The opposition of the Spanish authorities, they have adopted extraordinary measures (introduction of forces of the national guard, raids in government institutions of Catalonia, the withholding of the ballot boxes and clashes with the Catalans, etc.) allowed the former leader of Catalonia, Carles Podemno, and his political coalition to present the situation in a favorable light: to expose themselves victims of the events. After the referendum, Putteman and several members of his government went to Belgium, hoping to get support from the EU. These actions were considered as an escape, and Pujdeme recognized as a rebel in violation of the Constitution of Spain.

The trip to Brussels gave the Catalans the expected results: instead of support, they were given the cold shoulder. Despite the reprehensible actions of the Central government of Spain, the European Union had not supported the self-proclaimed state.

On the one hand, the Spanish government headed by Mariano Rajoy exposed himself to great risk by force. On the other hand, political largesse could turn in favor of the Catalans: a tactic would show the weakness of the state and let the situation become a precedent, for example the Basques. The decision of Brussels was closely watched by other members of the European Union. The wave Brekzita any political event is tangible, a potential vulnerability of European structures.

Thus, EU leaders committed to reduce separatist sentiment, to stop "the extravaganza of the right to self-determination".

A significant minority of Catalans support independence from Spain, the other part of the population dissatisfied with the existing status quo. Regardless of what happens next for Spain coming to the end of the period of democratic coexistence, prosperity and progress under the protection of the Constitution of 1978[2].

The Goth Girl T. V.

 

[1] Richard Haass “World Order 2.0” (2017). Foreign Affairs January/February 2017. Volume 96, Number 1. p. 3.

[2] Michael Reid “The strain in Spain” (2017). The Economist - The World in 2018. The Economist Group. p. 38.

Tags: Europe


RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics