Europe’s Enemies Within
As Spain begins the process of suspending Catalonia’s autonomy, the European Union is watching events with an anxious eye. Is secessionism poised to become the next great threat to European unity?
- Javier Solana, a former EU High Representative and Spanish Foreign Minister, argues that it would be a grave error for Spain and the EU to quarantine secession-minded regions for fear of contagion.
- Former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer thinks that Catalonia's bid for independence, like the United Kingdom's ill-fated Brexit referendum, is a historical absurdity.
- Daniel Gros, Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies, points out that a union that relies on nation-states, not just for implementing its policies, but also for legitimacy, can function only as well as its individual members.
- But former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis thinks the Catalonia crisis has opened a window for Europe to develop a new type of sovereignty that dissolves national particularism and upholds democratic norms.