In the cauldron of the Catalonian Controversy


The attached article "Learning from Catalonia: To Secede or not to Secede?" is an interesting and dispassionate analysis of a truly European and not just Spanish problem. The two parties in the conflict, so far behaved rather irresponsibly and risky in a European Union beset by populist attacks on the integration achieved in Europe. Irresponsibly, because they refused to negotiate with each other peacefully; risky because the fragile European structure of reconciliation, solidarity and unity is under attack everywhere. Bad examples always risk to have immitators. The worst and most irresponsible one is, of course Brexit: running into the dark just to implement the so called (very small) majority wish in a referendum. The Catalonian secessionists copied the bad British example. They based themselves on (what the authors in the article call) "the choice theory" for secession, without bothering about justification and even less about solidarity. They went head on into a destructive process without a clear purpose and without any necessity. Contrary to the European Union in the case of Brexit, the Spanish Government failed to  understand that (choice) secessionists create a political problem rather than a legal one. The problem must be adressed politically, that is to say through negotiation first. As always, when two parties are in conflict, it makes sense to ask a third party to mediate  and to begin with a phase of confidential talks. The European Union should have made clear that Catalonian secession is not just an internal Spanish problem and should have offered to mediate. The attache article offers a number of good suggestions!

Constitutions are meant to offer a framework for resolving problems peacefully and in accordance with the rule of law - not by using force or by imprisonment.


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Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau


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  • The Illusions of Détente,
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  • Western Cooperation
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  • Sporen van de Twintigste Eeuw
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  • European Unification into the twenty first Century...
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  • De geest van Christus leeft in Europa
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  • Neither Justice nor Order
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Neither Justice nor Order


This is the fifth and last volume in the series “Footprints of the Twentieth Century”, a critical assessment of the state of the law of nations.

Western Cooperation

Footprints of the twentieth Century


Professor Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau presents the history of Western Cooperation around a central theme: the effort of realist idealists to replace power politics by closer cooperation between democracies.