Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Venue: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Ave de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels
2014 will witness several key votes that will shape the future of certain EU member states and the EU in its entirety. The Scots are set to vote on their independence on 18 September, while the pro-independence movement in Catalonia is hoping to hold a referendum or a plebiscitary election on November 9th. This year, Catalonia will have been a part of Spain for 300 years, while the Scots have been a nation within Great Britain for 306 years.
Though both independence movements and their claims might look alike, both cases differ, especially regarding their relationship with the central government. While Alex Salmond has been able to negotiate the holding of a referendum on the independence of Scotland with David Cameron, the Spanish government is fiercely opposing any attempt to organize a vote on this issue in Catalonia. The result of the vote too might differ. While polls in Scotland indicate that voters still need some persuasion, a majority of pro-independence voters seems to be secured in Catalonia.
What both nations certainly have in common is their will to remain in the EU. However, EU leaders have been cautious and sometimes contradictory in their assessment of a possible EU membership of Scotland and Catalonia.
This event aims at discussing the reasons behind the Catalan and Scottish strive for independence, the possible outcomes of the independence referenda and the consequences for the EU membership of Catalonia and Scotland.
Picture: Flickr, User: Phyllis Buchanan