It’s going to take more than flag waving, demonstrations, and social media feeds for Catalonians to win their independence. From Global Analysis from the European Perspective at GEFIRA.org:
The Catalan fight for independence is not how conflicts are fought throughout history, let alone how they are won. Some movements for national independence have succeeded in history, others have not. Presently, it seems that the Catalan bid is destined to fail. Maybe in the future Catalans will change their strategy and achieve their goal, but at the moment of writing the Catalan independence movement can be described as a storm in a teacup.
We therefore looked at what worked in the past and is missing right now, or what clearly is not working.
- A bad plan to begin with.
Catalan independence is about claiming sovereignty from Madrid, just to immediately relinquish it to Brussels. If this had been decades ago, before the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. Now, especially after the Brexit vote, the EU leadership has decided to push forward with the European Federalist project, starting possibly with a Eurozone financial minister as proposed by French President Macron.The latter’s plan also includes a Eurozone budget and that’s where the Catalan plan makes even less sense: part of the resentment towards Madrid is because Catalans do not like regional fiscal transfers towards the rest of Spain. Would they like it if fiscal transfers were towards other European regions via Macron’s proposed Eurozone budget? Many Catalans also resent the “austerity” imposed by Madrid. Yet it’s not Madrid imposing it, it’s Brussels. Yet Catalans want to dump Madrid because of austerity and then join Brussels?
Why leave a political system because of its unnerving centralism just to join one that is shifting towards centralization, even further from the will of the people?
The EU also does not like referenda.Mainly because it tends to be on the losing side. It lost the ones on the “European Constitution” in 2004 in the Netherlands and France. The Constitution was then pragmatically swapped into “Lisbon’s Treaty” with a number of formal changes, but even that one was rejected in a referendum by the Irish. This time, the EU leadership forced a remake, finally succeeding.
To continue reading: Why the Catalan independence movement is failing