Could the real cause of Catalonia and Scotland’s movements for independence be the European Union’s efforts to suppress campaigns for national sovereignty across its member states?
The director of Common Weal, a pro-Scottish Independence think tank, told RT that recent events unfolding in Catalonia are a wakeup call for the EU. If it wants to “survive,” it must take into account the political, cultural and ideological differences between its member states.
Catalonia, a wealthy autonomous region in the north-east of Spain, voted last week in an illegal, non-binding independence referendum, in which 90 percent of voters chose to break away from Spain.
The vote was marred by violence, as Spanish police attacked polling stations and protesters.
Robin McAlpine said Catalonia’s crisis is indicative of a wider trend across the EU, where various geopolitical entities are pursuing self-determination to break free from centralized governments.
Disputing the claim that Scotland and Catalonia’s autonomy movements are one and the same thing, he said: “Why do people assume that self-determination will always look the same? It doesn’t,” he said, pointing out the varying political, cultural and ideological triggers.
“The significance [of the Catalonia referendum] is for Europe and its nation states, who eventually will have to understand that it cannot repress discussion in regions that forsake self-determination forever,” McAlpine said.
So although it is hard to distinguish clear ties between the two countries’ independence movements, it seems like they were triggered by the same attempt by the EU to ignore its member states’ thirst for freedom.
McAlpine suggested, in fact, that the Catalan referendum is more of a stark reminder that not everything in the EU can be “symmetrical” and that in order for the bloc to survive it must recognize the distinctness of each and every political movement across its union.”