Catalonia outside the Euro, an impossible outcome.


Joaquin Almunia’s statements to the effect that an independent Catalonia would have to negotiate accession to the European Union (EU) is a sensitive issue that needs to be clarified. In my opinion, many of the analyses published on the new state’s membership of the EU and its continuity with the euro are based on the erroneous premise that Catalonia would make decisions autonomously. Yesterday El País, on the basis of that erroneous premise, questioned the viability of Catalonia using the euro but outside the EU.

What Almunia said is obvious, even if difficult to take on board. After the split, Spain would still be Spain, and therefore a member of the EU, whereas Catalonia would be a new state which could only rejoin the EU after a formal process.

This does not necessarily mean that Catalonia would have to spend some time outside the EU. In the period elapsing between the decision to become independent and independence becoming effective, negotiations would get underway between Spain and representatives of the future state regarding thousands of practical issues: from the fate of state officials based in Catalonia to the portioning of the central state’s debt. For Scotland, this process is calculated to take 18 months. For both Scotland and Catalonia, accession to the EU would be negotiated in parallel to the negotiations with the respective states and, furthermore, would be resolved in the same period, both because this would be in the interests of the different sides (as we shall soon see) and because it would pose no particular difficulties (Scotland and Catalonia have been complying with EU legislation for decades). Consequently, provided Spain does not veto accession, Catalonia would be part of the EU from the moment of its existence as a state.

Would Spain veto Catalonia’s accession? For some, the answer is a definitive yes; for others, it is very unlikely. As this is strictly a political matter, I think it is impossible to make any grounded predictions.

Read @ Col·lectiu Emma

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