Catalunya and another nail in the EU coffin?

I was chatting to one of my colleagues yesterday at lunchtime who was a very passionate and vocal remain voter in the EU referendum in June and he surprised me yesterday when he said if another referendum is held he may well vote no. When I asked him why, he said Catalunya, he said he was as disgusted as I was with the way in which the EU has handled this situation, on top of how they handled Greece, Portugal and the refugee crisis and deal with Turkey. To say I was taken aback is an understatement as I would never have expected to ever hear that from my co-worker.

Random Public Journal have an excellent small blog on the issue that I agree with 100% and is totally in line with the things that were being discussed, as well as, the potential impact on a future Scotland’s relationship with the EU. As I have said before the lack of action from the EU on the actions of Spain and their storm troopers during the Catalunya referendum could come back to haunt them in the longer term, and may also put the SNP and wider YES movement into an interesting position as opinion starts to shift on an independent Scotland and membership of the EU.

As far as Spain and Catalunya are concerned the issue is both very very complex and emotive, certainly similar in some ways to Scotland and not in others, but emotions equally high as some of the comments I have read show.

José Bessa da Silva • September 27th, 2017 • 

Obviously. Spain is acting like a dictatorship it always was. Even internet is being object of censorship. Not only it should recognize as it should sanction Spain. But obviously the EU will never do that because it is just like Spain itself, so…pointles question.

Chukwunonso Olivia • September 27th, 2017 • 

European Union is based on the principle of democracy. Therefore, there is need to accept the outcome and support Catalonia for self-determination as enshrined in UN charter for indigenous people.

Antonio Pinto Caldeira • September 27th, 2017 • 

Although I’d like to see Spain remain united as a single country, Catalonians have the right to ask for their independence. It is the people that makes the law, not the other way around. The argument that independence is against the law makes no sense. According to Human Rights Declaration self-determination is a universal right. What is being done in Spain against Catalonians seeking to have a referendum is a shame, it shows the lack of respect by the politicians for the people. Shameful!

I appreciate and understand, thanks to help from some of you who read this blog, that the EU could only respond in certain ways to this issue but like myself, that is just not how ordinary people view it irrespective of what the rules say, and I really do believe that this is another nail in the EU coffin as far as public support both here and in the wider EU goes for the whole project. A more right wing and dictorial EU can only backfire in the longer term in my opinion.

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2 Responses to Catalunya and another nail in the EU coffin?

  1. Alan says:

    I see your point. So it’s one of those lose-lose situations – the EU is too decentralised to do anything quickly enough for the people’s taste and it’s too centralised and opaque for the people’s liking.

    Where should it go from here? Dispose of the national veto, bring in federal level elections for the presidencies and commissioners, start ordering national governments to do things they really don’t want to do? Form a federal military or police to enforce EU laws and principles in member territories – do to the Spanish government exactly what it’s doing to Catalonia?

    Hell no. People need to take a breath and remember that instant gratification is simply not possible in politics to the extent that it is in all other parts of our lives. We’ve had a very unusual run in Scotland where we’ve had a vote of some kind every single year since 2010(except for 2013). Some years we’ve even had two major votes!

    The current shambles in Westminster makes it looks like we could have a snap election at any moment, but that simply isn’t true. It does look as if the current parliament will hang on grimly until 2022 – which means the next significant vote for us could be in 2021(leaving the EU means missing out the 2019 MEP elections).

    Bear in mind that Scotland had so many votes partly because it has so many levels of jurisdictions. Councils, Holyrood, Westminster, Brussels. That accounts for four elections and most electoral terms run five years… so perhaps it is easy to forget that each institution’s political mandate eventually becomes two, three, four, five years old and “out of date” compared to the others. Remember the Westminster zombie parliament of 2014-2015 – when the coalition had ran out of steam? Right now, the EU is running on fumes – its fuel tank of political capital is low, because nobody in 2014 anticipated the many issues of 2015-2018 and the EU spent a lot of it on absorbing the refugee crisis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Alan

      For myself the EU is on a knife edge, many of the larger countries, once they get shot of the UK, will push for closer union and that may not be what many of the citizens want. Countries like Poland are very uncertain about that, you can add in others like the Netherlands and Denmark and it will be interesting times. From looking at some of the EU blogs etc many are unhappy with the EU response to Catalunya and for me while I would never have expected them to do anything against Spain, it’s not how they work, not publicly condemning the actions of the Spanish Police, in fact applauding it in some areas, will back fire on them in my mind. I think opinion has shifted in Scotland about membership of the EU and why the SNP are moving towards a more EFTA membership and I would think the way to go. I agree that there won’t be a snap election unless the DUP go mental, which they could or there is a no deal with the EU, in that case I think May and the Government will fall. The Tories also play the long game better than anyone and I wouldn’t put it past them to call an election 2020 and leave the mess for Labour to try and sort and then win the next election after Labour can’t.

      Thanks for commenting and taking the time to read the blog.

      Bruce

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