logo

Self-Determination of Smaller Nations in Europe

Abstract

The article about small peoples and nation's tendency to self-determination offers the experience of Catalonia as an example. In Catalonia, there was an aspiration for isolating their location from Madrid for a long time. This struggle went through catalanisme movement formed in a second half of 19th century, the proclamation of Second Spanish Republic, the Civil war and francisme period. In the beginning of 21st century the struggle for state self-determination have just become bigger and now there are two opinions on future of the region: a huge autonomy as a part of Spain and full independence from Madrid. The majority of Catalonian political elite supports the second thought and initiates number of referendums about self-determination of the region willing to legitimize its intentions. Since 2014 referendum was banned by Spanish Parliament and Constitutional Court of Spain the Generalitat de Catalunya made the macro-opinion poll which did not have any validity. The new President of Generalitat Carles Puigdemont related the necessity to make a referendum and future of democracy and most significant European values generally, not only future of Catalonia, making a report in headquarters of European Parliament in Brussels. On June 8, 2017, Puigdemont officially proclaimed his determination to make a referendum on October 1. Since that moment this subject has become the main one not only in Catalonian political system but in Spanish. As a respond to this the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy officially warned Puigdemont of responsibility for possible crisis and named him a "political blackmailer". Even though separatist movements in whole Spain are not as strong as in Catalonia now, the small nation's tendency to self-determination gradually becomes a global European trend. The success of referendum about so called Brexit (dates June 23rd, 2016) has highly contributed to it.

Keywords:

nation; referendum; self-determination; separatism; Catalonia; Spain.


Authors: Grigory Prutsskov

Read the article in PDF