On November 26th, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) organised the academic debate “Independence Movements in Europe. Threat or Opportunity for the EU?” in cooperation with the Centre on Constitutional Change of the University of Edinburgh and with presence of the Delegate of the Government of Catalonia to the UK and Ireland, Josep Suàrez Iborra.
Video 2: Round table: Self-Determination processes in the EU
The debate then brought together University professors and academics of different European countries, who analysed self-determination processes in the EU from a legal, monetary and trade perspective. David Edward, Professor Emeritus at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, and former Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities analysed the remaining of an independent Catalonia within the EU, stating that it would be absurd to imagine that a part of a former member state could be expelled without previous negotiation in case of its independence. Nicolas Levrat, Director of the Global Studies Institute (GSI) of the University of Geneva concentrated on the question of EU citizenship. EU citizenship is a right that, once acquired, as is the case of the Catalans right now, cannot be taken away so easily. He stated that internal enlargement of the EU incorporating an independent Catalonia would be a great chance for the EU to reform and reinforce its democratic legitimacy.
David Bell, Professor of Economics at University of Stirling, then presented the commercial perspectives of a new state, taking into account interdependence of trade, fiscal policy and the Single European market. Bell sees the EU as natural wider market for an independent Catalonia, and recommends to overcome a possible political instability with quality of policies, whilst not being able to foresee with certainty whether the creation of a border would lower the trade with the Spanish state. Finally Xavier Cuadras, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Business at Pompeu Fabra University, and Director of Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional (ESCI), International Business School, described the monetary implications of independence, analysing in detail the possible models of disconnection of fiscal and monetary systems. A cooperative solution would for Cuadras be the best for Catalonia, Spain and the whole eurozone, maximising the likelihood of policies of stability desired by the market.