EU waiting game may work with Catalan separatists

Barcelona, Spain, September 28, 2015: pro-independence coalition leader Raul Romeva and Catalonia's President Artur Mas (R), at a post-election news conference (source: dpa)
Barcelona, Spain, September 28, 2015: pro-independence coalition leader Raul Romeva and Catalonia's President Artur Mas (R), at a post-election news conference (source: dpa)

The success of separatist parties in September’s regional elections in Catalonia sent jitters throughout Europe, as many wondered whether other independent-minded regions around the continent would follow its lead. However, Brussels’ response – essentially remaining silent – deprived the separatist movement of a casus belli, allowing it to degenerate into infighting. If the drive for Catalonia’s independence succeeds, it could spell significant trouble for the European Union, but some natural limitations make that unlikely to happen.

In 2014, the vociferous rise in Euroscepticism seemed as dangerous for the future of the European Union as the Greek crisis. But while Eurosceptic legisl...

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