01.03.2020 13:10

Europeanisation as a catalyst to separatist sentiments? Catalan case

Europeanisation as a catalyst to separatist sentiments? Catalan case

Separatist movements in the EU championed by charismatic leaders currently have gathered strength in so called «stateless nations» such as Catalonia, Scotland, and Flanders. On the one hand, the process of Europeanization has increased the role of the European Union. And at the same time, combined with the concept of subsidiarity, it has reduced the powers of nation states in Europe and strengthened European regions by their cultural, economic or legal measures, principles and policies. Thus the further Europeanization evolves the more regions long for taking part in the EU policy making process bypassing the nation state level. In this way, it indirectly sparks off and strengthens regional separatist sentiments.

In this context, the question arises of whether such a hypothesis is consistent. Therefore, the aim of the research is to analyze through the case of Catalonia the interplay of Europeanization and separatist sentiments of stateless nations; to find out whether the Europeanization increases regional mobilizaton, or rather regional engagement in the EU affairs and sparks off separatist's sentiments

In order to realize in how far regions are integrated in the EU policy-making process by the example of Catalonia we should take closer look at the regional institutions. Among those which link the region to the EU institutions, providing an opportunity for the Catalans to directly lobby EU representative and institutions and represent their region in the EU arena are the Assembly of the European Regions (1985), own regional office in Brussels (1986), the Committee of the Regions (1994). More than that, Catalonia is an active participant of such organizations and cooperation projects as the Conference of European Regions with Legislative Power (RegLeg), Working Community of the Pyrenees, the Pyrenees Mediterranean Euro-region, the Four Motors for Europe.

As shown above Europeanization has provided more opportunities for regional administrations to achieve fully- fledged representation in the EU and participate in the EU policy-making thereby raising its status.

Another manifestation of button-up «Europeanization» in Catalan case is the fact that citizens were allowed to use of Catalan language in their relations with the EU institutions. In contrast they can't enjoy the same rights while communicating with the Spanish central institutions. Thus, domestic pressures have led to the Europeanization of linguistic rights which Spain is lacking for.

As regards the top-button «Europeanization» it has exacerbated internal cleavages between Madrid and Barcelona connected with the fiscal asymmetry. Catalonia contributes the most to Spain's GDP and to economic growth. To illustrate, its GDP accounts for 20% of the country's one and almost 8% of region's economy goes off to Madrid in taxes. Under this circumstances Madrid is perceived as a burden, while the EU has become a synonym for the modernization of the region.

Given these points, it should be said the Europeanization obviously had an effect on the EU system by shaping the political concept of «Europe of the Regions». The EU has provided incentives in terms of rights of representation and access to policy-making. The desired membership in the EU has restored to life historical memory about the «Catalan nation», thereby giving rise to separatist sentiments. Nevertheless, the recent statement of Emanuel Barroso that it would be complicated for an independent Scotland to get the agreement of all states to join the European Union jeopardizes Cataluna's potential to fulfill its «European dream».

Э. Э. Ивоева

Europeanisation as a catalyst to separatist sentiments? Catalan case

Опубликовано 01.03.2020 13:10 | Просмотров: 109 | Блог » RSS


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