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    The Spanish government should offer Catalonia a referendum on federalism, not independence

The Spanish government should offer Catalonia a referendum on federalism, not independence

Catalonia held a non-binding consultation on independence on 9 November. Francesc Trillas assesses the argument that the Spanish government should now seek to address the Catalan independence debate by proposing a formal referendum on the issue. He argues that while there are benefits to holding a referendum, there are also a number of costs in the Catalan case, and […]

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    The only solution to the Catalan question is to recognise that Catalonia is a separate demos capable of deciding its own future

The only solution to the Catalan question is to recognise that Catalonia is a separate demos capable of deciding its own future

A non-binding consultation on Catalan independence was held on 9 November, with over 80 per cent of those voting indicating that they would like Catalonia to be independent. Montserrat Guibernau argues that while there is still some uncertainty over what the legal consequences of the vote will be, the people of Catalonia have made it clear that they should […]

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    Europe is witnessing the establishment of a new regional order, built on territories such as Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country

Europe is witnessing the establishment of a new regional order, built on territories such as Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country

This year has seen an independence referendum in Scotland, a contested debate over a proposed independence consultation in Catalonia and growing momentum behind independence movements elsewhere in Europe. Igor Calzada writes that the debates taking place within countries like Spain and the UK offer an example of what he terms ‘post-independence’. He argues that political devolution, economic development and […]

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    Mariano Rajoy may have forced Artur Mas’ hand over a Catalan independence consultation, but the issue remains far from settled

Mariano Rajoy may have forced Artur Mas’ hand over a Catalan independence consultation, but the issue remains far from settled

On 14 October, Catalan President Artur Mas stated that the planned vote on Catalonia’s independence, scheduled for 9 November, would no longer be held. Instead, he has proposed a poll on the same day on the basis of regional laws not ruled out by the Constitutional Tribunal. Sebastian Balfour writes that the new poll would have significantly less impact […]

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    Why political uncertainty will continue in Catalonia despite the decision to alter the proposed independence referendum

Why political uncertainty will continue in Catalonia despite the decision to alter the proposed independence referendum

The President of Catalonia’s government, Artur Mas, announced on 14 October that the proposed referendum on Catalan independence, scheduled for 9 November, will no longer be held. However a non-binding consultation, under a different legal framework, will take place instead. Juan Rodríguez-Teruel writes on why it has proven impossible to come to a similar agreement in Catalonia to that […]

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    An increase in those in Catalonia with an exclusive Catalan identity has strengthened claims for secession from Spain

An increase in those in Catalonia with an exclusive Catalan identity has strengthened claims for secession from Spain

The Spanish and Catalan governments have been engaged in a dispute over a proposal to hold a referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain on 9 November. Luis Moreno writes on the social attitudes underpinning the debate in Catalonia. He notes that against the backdrop of the financial crisis and the opposition of the central Spanish authorities to holding a […]

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    Italian regionalist parties will find it difficult to import the ‘Scottish model’ in their push for independence

Italian regionalist parties will find it difficult to import the ‘Scottish model’ in their push for independence

The Scottish independence referendum on 18 September was followed closely by independence movements in other countries across Europe. Lorenzo Piccoli writes on the impact of the referendum result on regionalist parties in Italy, particularly those in the regions of South Tyrol, Veneto and Sardinia. He argues that the different legal context in Italy, combined with the real policy differences […]

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    The UK should take on board the lessons from Spain before embracing English devolution

The UK should take on board the lessons from Spain before embracing English devolution

The UK government has committed itself to solving the so called ‘West Lothian question’ whereby Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs can vote on ‘English only’ issues which have already been devolved to the other three countries. Sonia Alonso writes on devolution in Spain, arguing that the UK should learn from the Spanish experience. She states that Spain illustrates […]

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    Experts react to the Scottish referendum result: The Nays have it

Experts react to the Scottish referendum result: The Nays have it

On 18 September, Scotland voted against independence by a margin of 55-45 per cent. We asked a number of experts to comment on the results and what might occur in future.

John Van Reenen: “The economic case for maintaining the union was overwhelming”
Norman Bonney: “Clearly the great ambitions of the reconvened Scottish Parliament of 1999 to transform politics in […]

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September 20th, 2014|theindycategory|2 Comments|
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    Political and constitutional turbulence in the UK looks set to continue to 2020

Political and constitutional turbulence in the UK looks set to continue to 2020

Scotland’s ‘No’ vote solves one acute existential threat to the UK, says Patrick Dunleavy, but only for now. The likely narrow results of the May 2015 general election, plus David Cameron’s promise of another referendum on the UK leaving the European Union in 2017, both promise massive constitutional turbulence between now and 2020. For instance, if the UK votes […]

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    Should Catalonia hold an independence referendum? Four responses from EUROPP contributors

Should Catalonia hold an independence referendum? Four responses from EUROPP contributors

A demonstration in support of Catalan independence from Spain was held on 11 September to coincide with the National Day of Catalonia. With no agreement between the Catalan and Spanish governments over whether a proposed referendum on independence should be held in November, we asked four of EUROPP’s contributors to give their views.

Francesc Trillas: “Catalonia should find a better […]

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    The ‘domino effect’ from Scotland’s referendum is increasing demands for independence in Italian regions

The ‘domino effect’ from Scotland’s referendum is increasing demands for independence in Italian regions

While the independence movements in Scotland and Catalonia have received substantial attention, other countries across Europe are also facing demands from regions for greater autonomy or secession. Eve Hepburn writes on three such movements in Italy: in South Tyrol, Veneto and Sardinia. She argues that the result of the Scottish referendum is likely to shape the immediate future of […]

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    It is far from clear that Scotland’s transition to EU membership would be ‘smooth and straightforward’

It is far from clear that Scotland’s transition to EU membership would be ‘smooth and straightforward’

One of the main issues in the Scottish independence campaign has been whether Scotland would be able to make a smooth transition to EU membership post-independence and what terms it would be obliged to meet to do so. Jo Murkens writes on the legal framework, noting that it is unlikely that using the EU’s Treaty revision procedure (Article 48 […]

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Could Scotland buck the trend and vote ‘Yes’?

The polls have been narrowing in Scotland’s independence referendum debate with the vote less than two weeks away. Alan Renwick reflects on whether the Yes campaign really could pull off an unexpected victory. He argues that while momentum is currently with the Yes side, the most likely result still remains a narrow No vote.

I wrote a piece for the […]

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    While attention is focused on Catalonia, the debate over the Basque Country’s status within Spain remains on hold

While attention is focused on Catalonia, the debate over the Basque Country’s status within Spain remains on hold

In October 2011, the Basque separatist group ETA announced the cessation of its armed activities. Teresa Whitfield writes that while this constituted a notable achievement, a lack of engagement from the Spanish government has prevented any further settlement over the disbanding of ETA. It has also contributed to delaying agreement amongst Basque nationalists on new proposals for the status […]

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    Europe is entering the ‘age of the referendum’, but there is nothing to fear for European democracy if referendums are properly regulated

Europe is entering the ‘age of the referendum’, but there is nothing to fear for European democracy if referendums are properly regulated

Referendums have become increasingly common occurrences in European states in recent decades. Stephen Tierney writes on some of the potential benefits and dangers of using referendums to solve key constitutional questions. He writes that while referendums can undermine democracy if used incorrectly, they generally suffer from problems of practice rather than principle and these problems can be overcome in […]

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    With uncertainty over independence, Catalonia is set for its most significant National Day demonstration since Spain’s transition to democracy

With uncertainty over independence, Catalonia is set for its most significant National Day demonstration since Spain’s transition to democracy

The Catalan government has announced its intention to hold a referendum on declaring independence from Spain on 9 November. However, with the Spanish government opposing the referendum, it is unclear what form such a vote would take, or even if it will be held at all. Sebastian Balfour writes on the emergence of a proposal by the Catalan government […]

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    A ‘No’ vote in the referendum will not represent a final victory over Scottish nationalism

A ‘No’ vote in the referendum will not represent a final victory over Scottish nationalism

It is less than a month until the Scottish independence referendum on 18 September. Emran Mian writes that while a ‘No’ vote looks increasingly likely, it would not necessarily represent a final victory over Scottish nationalism. Instead, much would still be up for debate, and the prospect of Alex Salmond having the last laugh is not unthinkable.

If Scotland […]

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    Podemos and the Spanish left risk alienating their own support base if they ally with independence movements in Catalonia

Podemos and the Spanish left risk alienating their own support base if they ally with independence movements in Catalonia

The Government of Catalonia has announced its intention to hold a referendum in November on whether to declare independence from Spain. Enric Martínez-Herrera and Thomas Jeffrey Miley write on the role of the financial crisis in the Catalan independence movement, and how parties on the Spanish left such as Podemos have positioned themselves in the debate. They argue that […]

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    The Pujol scandal might weaken the Catalan government, but it is unlikely to derail the campaign for Catalan independence

The Pujol scandal might weaken the Catalan government, but it is unlikely to derail the campaign for Catalan independence

Jordi Pujol, the former president of the Catalan government between 1980 and 2003, has faced a corruption scandal in recent months. Alejandro Quiroga writes on the potential impact the affair might have on the campaign for Catalonia’s independence from Spain. He argues that while the scandal may have undermined attempts to draw a distinction between corruption in the Spanish […]

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