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Catalan independence referendum, 2017

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    ..with Spain being an EU nation and a post Independence Catalan not?
    That is your assumption. If you go back over this thread you'll see that assumption is unfounded.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,155 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    recedite wrote: »
    That is your assumption. If you go back over this thread you'll see that assumption is unfounded.

    How is it unfounded ?

    Spain is the EU member.

    Catalonia is nothing in the eyes of anyone only the ones who voted for it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    robindch wrote: »
    Some consistency in your POV would make a welcome change, though I'll concede that it's hard to be consistent while still supporting VVP :)
    I am just as consistent as Putin.
    He is consistent in wanting a strong unified Russian state comprised of the remaining parts of the former USSR in which the majority of people still consider themselves to be ethnic Russians. That includes Crimea and East Ukraine.

    I am consistent in agreeing with the right to self determination of a people. That would equally apply if the people of Crimea wanted to leave Russia at some future time. You're assuming in that hypothetical situation, that Putin would deny them that right.
    Maybe, maybe not.
    I am not making assumptions on it either way, and there are no signs of it happening anyway.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    How is it unfounded ?

    Spain is the EU member.

    Catalonia is nothing in the eyes of anyone only the ones who voted for it.
    Read the link in this post.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,933 ✭✭✭Anita Blow


    recedite wrote: »
    Read the link in this post.

    But there is almost no doubt that should Spain agree to Catalonia seceding, that Spain would assert its status as the continuator state. Both states cannot be continuator states and both Spain and the EU have made their position on this known- Catalonia would be a new state with no previous treaties or international agreements and as such would have to negotiate these anew.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,583 ✭✭✭Mal-Adjusted


    recedite wrote: »
    That is your assumption. If you go back over this thread you'll see that assumption is unfounded.

    Not really. Spain would still be Spain & all the agreements and treaties would still apply to it, just it's territory would be smaller.

    Catalan would be a wholly new nation, outside of everything from the UN to UEFA and would have to seek to become members of these bodies,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Anita Blow wrote: »
    Both states cannot be continuator states
    You are entitled to your opinion, but the learned opinion I cited is different;
    either both new States will become new Members or the remaining State will continue the membership (with necessary modifications) while the separated State will become a new Member. No part of the State would have left the EU not even for a moment.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    recedite wrote: »
    You are entitled to your opinion, but the learned opinion I cited is different;

    Isn't the learned opinion you cited merely a proposal for a possible way of doing things?
    Drawing on the ideas of Articles 49 and 50 TEU this essay develops a procedure for balancing the interests of the EU, its Member States, and the people living in the seceding State...

    It seems to me that it aims to set out a proposal for how secessions could be handled. The quote you included, in isolation, gives the impression that that's a legal interpretation of how things are, but that's not the impression given by the document's abstract.

    On the face of it, it seems logically (if not legally) impossible for a new state to become a member of the Union without the agreement of all existing members. I think we can take it as a given as things stand that Spain would not agree to automatic membership for Catalonia, and other states would have comparable concerns.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    It seems to me that it aims to set out a proposal for how secessions could be handled. The quote you included, in isolation, gives the impression that that's a legal interpretation of how things are, but that's not the impression given by the document's abstract.
    Its an opinion. I did not say it was a legal interpretation of how things stand now.
    I gave my opinion more than once in this thread that the EU has no specific rule for the situation. And if you read the link, those guys also give that same opinion.
    oscarBravo wrote: »
    On the face of it, it seems logically (if not legally) impossible for a new state to become a member of the Union without the agreement of all existing members. I think we can take it as a given as things stand that Spain would not agree to automatic membership for Catalonia, and other states would have comparable concerns.
    I'm open to correction on this, but I think they moved to "qualified majority" voting for most issues after the last expansion of the EU. The more states that are in the EU, the harder it becomes to reach a unanimous decision.

    But... is this an issue that can be decided by a qualified majority, or does it need to be unanimous? Perhaps a vote on that question is also in order. But would that vote be via a qualified majority ....


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    But... is this an issue that can be decided by a qualified majority, or does it need to be unanimous? Perhaps a vote on that question is also in order. But would that vote be via a qualified majority ....

    You've been told numerous times it requires an unanimous vote


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Under what rule, exactly?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    Under what rule, exactly?

    New states joining the union.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    New states joining the union.

    Not only does it require a unanimous vote, it requires a new treaty:
    The conditions and date of accession, any transition periods required and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the Union is founded must be agreed in the form of an accession treaty between the candidate country and the Member States. To give due form to the accession, this treaty is signed and ratified by all the Member States and the candidate country in accordance with their own constitutional rules. The European Parliament gives its consent.
    (emphasis mine)


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,413 Mod ✭✭✭✭robindch


    recedite wrote: »
    I am just as consistent as Putin.
    That's not saying much of anything. As above, he encourages separatism abroad while making it a criminal offence at home. I don't immediately see how these two positions can be reconciled - perhaps you might explain how you manage it?
    recedite wrote: »
    He is consistent in wanting a strong unified Russian state comprised of the remaining parts of the former USSR in which the majority of people still consider themselves to be ethnic Russians.
    International law recognizes citizenship and borders, not "ethnicity,
    or "compatriothood" as Lavrov has referred to it. And for good reason.
    recedite wrote: »
    I am consistent in agreeing with the right to self determination of a people. That would equally apply if the people of Crimea wanted to leave Russia at some future time. You're assuming in that hypothetical situation, that Putin would deny them that right.
    Nothing hypothetical about it at all. Let's look at Tatarstan.

    That Russian federal republic has a minority population of people who refer to themselves as "ethnic Russians" (~40%) and a majority population of people who refer to themselves as "ethnic Tatars" (~55%), plus ~5% other. A referendum in 1992 on independence, the most recent one which took place there, saw the "independence" side win with 62% of the vote. The result was ignored by Moscow which first insisted on keeping the existing Soviet-era arrangement in place, then relaxed slightly in 2007 by providing more independence to Tatarstan via a ten-year treaty which is due to expire in a few days. Moscow has indicated that it will not renew the treaty, angering one of the few economically developed areas in the country beyond Moscow and St Petersburg.

    You're suggestion that you agree with the right to self-determination is inconsistent with your support for Putin who actively denies this same right when it does not suit him.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    New states joining the union.
    Arguably it's not a "new" member though, it's a successor to an existing state. As backed up by the undeniable fact that the Catalans are all EU citizens already.

    In order to settle this argument, would the EU take a vote on the necessary new rules for identifying successor states, and would that vote be sealed by a majority vote, or a unanimous vote. That is the question I posed. I think probably by majority voting, but I'm not sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 CroFag


    Spain should not let this happen, as it would make Spanish people from Catalonia 2nd class citizens, as well as tore the country apart with Baskia & who know which other region will decide they too are "paying too much taxes" and would be better off on their own.

    Catalonia is on a good road to become a puppet state of Germany & France. They will end up being effectively even less independent then now...


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,796 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    recedite wrote: »
    Arguably it's not a "new" member though, it's a successor to an existing state. As backed up by the undeniable fact that the Catalans are all EU citizens already.

    The Catalans are EU citizens by virtue of their Spanish citizenship. EU citizenship doesn't exist in isolation; it's conferred as a consequence of citizenship of a member state. Article 20 TFEU:
    Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    robindch wrote: »
    Let's look at Tatarstan.

    That Russian federal republic has a minority population of people who refer to themselves as "ethnic Russians" (~40%) and a majority population of people who refer to themselves as "ethnic Tatars" (~55%), plus ~5% other. A referendum in 1992 on independence, the most recent one which took place there, saw the "independence" side win with 62% of the vote. The result was ignored by Moscow which first insisted on keeping the existing Soviet-era arrangement in place...
    As I'm sure you are well aware, Putin wasn't in charge back in 1992, Boris Yeltzin was. Putin reached the top in 1999.

    Supposing Tatarstan wanted independence now, and the people showed that via a referendum, then I'd support that claim. As per your other link, they seem to prefer a power sharing arrangement in which they have their own executive.
    Putin may be understandably wary, given what happened after 1996 when Chechnya was granted de facto independence by Yeltzin. It became a rogue islamic state and started exporting terrorism into Russia, thus leading to another war. However, things seem much more civilised in the Tatarstan republic, so perhaps it would work.

    BTW it seems odd that your research takes you back to a 1992 referendum in Tatarstan, but is blind to the referendum in which Crimea sought independence from Ukraine at around the same time.
    Isn't that somewhat inconsistent of you? ;)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    The Catalans are EU citizens by virtue of their Spanish citizenship. EU citizenship doesn't exist in isolation; it's conferred as a consequence of citizenship of a member state. Article 20 TFEU:
    We can keep going round in circles with this argument of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Basically it all depends on Catalan's status as a successor state, for which there are no existing EU rules, only proposals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    Arguably it's not a "new" member though, it's a successor to an existing state. As backed up by the undeniable fact that the Catalans are all EU citizens already.

    In order to settle this argument, would the EU take a vote on the necessary new rules for identifying successor states, and would that vote be sealed by a majority vote, or a unanimous vote. That is the question I posed. I think probably by majority voting, but I'm not sure.
    In international law, Scottish membership of the EU would depend on the question of which state or states are successor to the present UK. There are three answers to that question: that the "rump UK" of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is the successor state, but a newly independent Scotland is not; that both states are; or that neither is.

    The last answer is the least likely and least credible – somewhere, there has to be at least one successor. The balance of views among international lawyers supports the view that the rump UK but not an independent Scotland would be a member, but that is by no means universally held and many disagree. On the international law argument, the position is far from clear, and is unlikely to provide the comfort to Scottish voters that the SNP seeks.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/sep/13/independent-scotland-eu-member-snp


    The only one making this ridiculous argument is you and a few SNP supporters.

    We had to get the EU to clarify it's position on NI should reunification ever came about . Which is to say Ireland couldn't unify with an independent Scotland for a day , break up and Scotland would be back doored in the EU.

    All of which is irrelevant as the EU as a whole will refuse to accept the legitimacy of the vote or of an independent Catalina.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    In the case of a United Ireland referendum, the situation is much more straightforward because the nordies would be joining a member state, and not becoming an independent state.

    The rest of your link merely confirms what I said; ie the EU has no rules for a break-up within a member state, or for designating whether one or both would be the successor state(s).

    For Scotland, the issue will be moot, post Brexit.
    But it is interesting to note that the noises made by Barroso back in 2012 as expressed in your link were very negative towards the idea of two successor states. These noises were mistaken at the time by many people to be "the EU rules".
    But that was when the European Commission thought the UK was a solid member of the EU. Barroso has since moved on to his real masters, Goldman Sachs.

    It would be interesting to see what noises would have been made by Barroso's successor if a Scottish referendum had been held after the Brexit vote, but before article 50 had been triggered. Would the EC have been much more sympathetic to the idea of Scotland retaining its EU membership as a joint successor, pre-Brexit? Alas, we will never know the answer to that, as its only a hypothetical.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    recedite wrote: »
    The rest of your link merely confirms what I said; ie the EU has no rules for a break-up within a member state, or for designating whether one or both would be the successor state(s).

    Ok let's try it this way. If we take your position that their are no rules and we'll even assume that a majority vote is acceptable.
    The following countries have breakaway regions and will reject it. Spain, France, Belgium, UK, Italy, Denmark, Poland the list goes on and on
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe

    And as the old saying goes. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    Apologies Oscar, got involved in a few other threads and forgot to check this one.
    oscarBravo wrote: »

    I'm blue in the face saying this, but I guess I have to keep repeating it every time someone decides I'm some sort of autocrat in waiting: I don't have a problem with democracy. I have a problem with the mindless idea that "democratic" is a synonym for "perfect" and that any problem can be solved by throwing more democracy at it.

    I never suggested that democracy is perfect. Only that it's the fairest way to run a society - everybody has an equal say.
    I stand over the idea that Brexit is a picture-perfect example of why referendums are an utterly appalling way to run a country. 39% of eligible voters made a decision with far-reaching and as-yet unknowable consequences on the basis of a campaign that was characterised by vastly more rhetoric and emotion than information and reason, and a considerable amount of bare-faced dishonesty. Of that 39%, what percentage do you imagine were genuinely fully informed of the consequences of leaving or remaining? How many of them thought they could eat their cake and have it? How many thought the NHS would get an extra £350 million a week?

    That's an easy one. Outlaw campaigning which isn't based on referencable facts. I have long advocated for this.
    To democracy's slavish adherents, such questions are blasphemous. The creed tells us that once the people have spoken, their words become sacred truth. The Will of the People can't be questioned, and if the consequences of the People's Sacred Decision is a national catastrophe, that's OK, because it's what the People Voted For.

    This part I agree with. I'd rather the armageddon I had a choice over than the idyllic and perfect life I was forced into without agency. That's just me - but given how many people have fought for democracy over the years, I'm hardly alone. Remember the famous "what have the Romans ever done for us" joke? It's fairly obvious that a decent society in which people don't get a choice won't satisfy most human instincts for freedom.

    If we take your view to its extreme, do you believe that the Catalans shouldn't get a referendum? How about the Irish getting a referendum on the Anglo-Irish Treaty? And if there are some referenda you regard as valid, then who and by what criteria should decide which issues be put to the people and which issues not? In Britain, it was the representative democracy so worshipped by those opposed to direct democracy which offered a Brexit referendum to the people after all. If they shouldn't have the power to do that, then are you arguing for a system in which there are certain issue that should simply be unchangeable by any official mechanism, set in stone, for all eternity?
    I don't subscribe to cults, and to me the idea that asking enough uninformed people a question will magically produce the correct answer is as cult-like a belief as I've ever come across.

    I never suggested that it would be correct. An incorrect answer that everybody got to help choose is better to me than a correct answer chosen by elitists. It's not about perfection, it's about freedom. If someone else makes your decisions for you, you are not free.

    Now, you certainly have a point regarding the fact that the Brexit vote was not fully participated in - but what's your solution? Should everybody be forced to vote? And if so, how can you police spoiled ballots, without compromising the anonymity of voting?

    Here's an interesting suggestion: Should the results of an election or referendum be declared invalid if the total countable ballots (so that excludes spoiled ones) is less than a certain proportion of the population? A little like how in many parliaments, a motion cannot be considered passed by simple majority if too few of those eligible to participate actually attend? I believe in the United States this is referred to as a "quorum"?


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 CroFag


    Catalonia's, Scottish, North Italy's, Bosnian Serb or whatever nationalistic wish to separate and make mini states in Europe is not a good news for Ireland. Why would the north unite with the south if the trend is fragmentation & division???

    Rather, for example Co. Donegal might say :"we pay too many taxes & not being heard & represented, not getting enough in return (like Barcelona) so, we'll go our separate way from Dublin (or Belfast)...

    Please Catalans, don't play with fire...with right wing on the surge all over the continent, it's not time for balkanization of Europe.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    CroFag wrote: »
    Why would the north unite with the south if the trend is fragmentation & division???
    Why would the south not reunite with the UK if unification is so good?
    So there are always two sides to this coin.

    Similarly the Tories kept telling the Scots coming up to their referendum that they were "stronger together". But a short while later they were trying to convince everyone that the UK going it alone after Brexit was a good idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 CroFag


    Not every case is the same. Irish were trying pretty much for 800 years to get rid of the British & at the end they succeeded with a big cost (amputation of the north).

    Scots on the other hand are a different story, so are many other nations, Tibetans, Catalans etc.

    When we are talking about an independence let's put more focus on a economical independence, just like in our on personal lives, that is what matters the most.

    Ireland or Croatia might be independent states, but the amount of dependency on a neighboring economies can be outrageous. In Croatia 90% of banking sector is in Austrian or Italian hands, or in Ireland huge percent of retail sector is run by UK firms. These bodies dictate our everyday lives, just as much as the government.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Traditionally, Catalonia has paid more in taxes to Madrid than it has received back, and has a significant banking sector, so its economic viability and independence would not be in question.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Traditionally, Catalonia has paid more in taxes to Madrid than it has received back, and has a significant banking sector, so its economic viability and independence would not be in question.
    Except that it would not be in EU which would ruin the idea of economic viability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Nody wrote: »
    Except that it would not be in EU which would ruin the idea of economic viability.
    Unless it was in the EU, of course.

    And, you know, if there's going to be an independent Catalonia, the EU will very much want it in. So, if we're honest, will Spain, once it comes to the point where Catalan independence is going to happen anyway. Once it gets to that point, it's no longer in Spain's interest to threaten to veto Catalan membership.

    If Catalonia secedes unilaterally from Spain, and in breach of Spanish law, I can't see them being admitted to the EU. And the Catalans know this. The point of the unilateral independence referendum, I think, is not really to acheive unilateral independence; it's to increase the politica pressure on Spain, and to make it harder for them to resist a negotiated independence.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    If Catalonia secedes unilaterally from Spain, and in breach of Spanish law, I can't see them being admitted to the EU. And the Catalans know this. The point of the unilateral independence referendum, I think, is not really to acheive unilateral independence; it's to increase the politica pressure on Spain, and to make it harder for them to resist a negotiated independence.
    The result of the referendum could force a negotiated independence; in other words a change to Spanish law.
    The Anglo Irish Treaty is an interesting precedent for this kind of thing. According to that treaty, Ireland gained independence because of a royal u-turn proclamation. In reality though, the people had forced it through.

    The king of Spain could declare Catalonia to be a "self governing dominion"...or some such BS declaration that would allow everybody to save face.
    And hopefully the Catalans wold not immediately split into rival factions and embark on a civil war, in an argument over the wording, as we did ;)


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