Is Catalonia future in a federal Europe?

Yesterday, we put some of your questions to Artur Mas, the President of the Government of Catalonia, during a Friends of Europe event in Brussels. The room was packed with journalists (quite a feat, considering German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also in townyesterday), and the president was only speaking for an hour, so we had time only for one or two questions, which we have posted below.

The first comment came from Kasia, who argued: “I can understand the Catalans’ wish for independence… however I think this will cause yet more problems for Spain, Europe and the Eurozone. [Instead of full independence, Catalonia should] encourage a looser federal structure.

Here is the response from Artur Mas:

I think that the right answer would be the following one: imagine that the European Union turns into the United States of Europe. In this case, with a federal structure, Catalonia would like to be one of the states of that federation. If you look at the United States of America, you will realise that, with a population of about 300 million people, they have 50 states. The European union, with more than 500 million people, could have more than 60 or 70, or maybe 75 states. And why couldn’t Catalonia be one of these states, in a federal structure and with the powers of a state which belongs to a federal structure? So, with less powers than an independent country but more powers than we have today. In that case, Spain would have less powers, and France and Germany and Holland, but Catalonia would have more powers…

If the EU is not capable of turning into a real political federation, then our aspiration is to have the same tools and the same powers that other nations of our size have in Europe. For instance, the same tools as Denmark, or the same tools as Austria, or the same tools as Finland.

Read @ Debating Europe