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Mario Kölling

In the academic and political debate, the argument that the EU budget is a relic of the past and needs a deep reform is commonplace. Despite numerous proposals for improvements, the reforms of the past did not meet expectations. However, the EU budget has been evolving during the past decades. Given the new internal and external challenges of the EU, it appears that we are facing a further reform of spending policies while a reform of the revenue side may be postponed – again. In this text we will look for evidence that could confirm that the EU budget has already started an important transformation which, according to the debates on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2027, will continue after 2020.

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Mario Kölling

The Catalan independence debate can be analysed from different points of view, and there are several endogenous and exogenous variables that could be considered in order to explain this unprecedented centrifugal impetus. Applying a two-level perspective and taking as a starting point the territorial organisation of Spain, we analyse the underlining reasons why the Spanish State of Autonomies failed to accommodate permanently the centrifugal demands in Catalonia offering an alternative to independence and why demands for independence have grown during the past few years. In this context two hypotheses are checked: (1) the independence move of the Catalan government has been based on the failure to guarantee the singularity of Catalonia within the Spanish State of Autonomies; (2) the increasing demands among public opinion for independence and the electoral salience of the topic has led to competition and radicalisation on this topic among regionalist parties.