Scottish energy and Catalan hope


(e-International Relations) The possible independence of Scotland may solve one important conundrum for the separatist movement in Catalonia; the dilemma of what to do with the political status of new states in the European Union.[i] The question is, how should the EU proceed if an European region decides to secede from its current state and become a new state? Should the new state be automatically part of the EU through a process of internal expansion, or should this state have to apply for admission, or rather “re-admission”?

This is an unprecedented situation and, as Paul Cairney explained a few weeks ago on e-IR, there is currently no legislation that determines how to proceed in these cases. Thus, if Scotland finally became independent, it would set a precedent that could influence the fate and force of Catalan separatism, even if all possible outcomes would still remain open: that is, both new countries could be expelled from the EU, or both could be re-admitted, or Scotland could continue being part of the EU but not Catalonia, or vice versa.

Here we encounter a classic discord between constituted sovereignties and constituent movements. On the one hand, it seems likely that European states will threaten Scotland and Catalonia with expulsion from the EU if they pursue independence. Not only do most European states fear that the emancipation of these nations will intensify the unresolved regional tensions that exist within their boundaries, but, more importantly, constituted states are on principle opposed to the dismembering of other states, as territorial partitions always make visible their own artificial nature. On the other hand however, if Scotland or Catalonia decided to secede from the UK and Spain, it is unquestionable that they would continue being part of the EU.

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Thanks to AngloCatalan Affairs