Sunday, 5 November 2017

Don't Just Blame the EU on Catalonia

As of late, it appears to have become fashionable among many to blame the EU for Catalonia, and to take it out against the EU for not recognising Catalonia.  I'm not just talking about arch brexiteers such as Nigel Farage and Daniel Hannan, I'm also talking about an increasing number, it seems, of Welsh nationalists and many former Remainers who seem to think that the EU's response makes that organisation uniquely anti-democratic and uniquely against the rights of small nations.

I however, think that the EU's reaction needs to be given a bit of perspective.  Here is the list of countries which, according to Wikipedia, have explicitly refused to recognise the independence of Catalonia:

I do apologise for the facts that the two screenshots don't match up.

In addition, no country has had the guts to come out and recognise Catalonia -  those countries that are not on the list have merely not chosen either side.   So yes, the EU has announced that Catalonia's declaration of Independence has 'changed nothing' and that they would only deal with the Spanish government, but how does that make them any different from the rest of the International Community?  It doesn't.

Like I said last month, the fact that the international community has refused to recognise Catalonia shows that there's a problem with the attitude of the whole international community with regards to breakaway nations.  Countries such as the Republic of Artsakh and South Ossetia declared their independence over twenty-five years ago, and and yet they have still not been recognised as independent, because of the international community's insistence on sticking to existing borders.

That principle is of course ridiculous.  Should we not recognise the independence of France because it was once part of the Roman Empire, and because Roman Law never allowed what was then called Gaul to succeed from it? No.  The reality is that decisions regarding the recognition of new states and international borders should be based on Democracy and Self-Determination, like any political decisions in the twenty-first century, and that means yes to recognising Catalonia, as it does recognising South Ossetia and the Republic of Artsakh.

So like I say, don't just blame the EU, blame everybody who has refused to recognise Catalonia.

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