Regional Governance in the EU
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Regional Governance in the EU

Regions and the Future of Europe

Edited by Gabriele Abels and Jan Battke

The role of regions in the European Union has been frequently debated since the 1980s. This comprehensive book provides a thorough overview of the issue from a variety of perspectives, analysing regional governance and territorial dynamics in the EU and its member states. Focusing on the implications of the democratisation–regionalisation nexus, it argues that a ‘Europe with the regions’ may promote good governance and ameliorate the democratic deficits of the EU.
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Chapter 6: The Catalan secession bid: between structural and contemporary tensions within the State of Autonomies

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.

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