Brexit was OK, it was a one-off business. But what about Catalonia tomorrow or Veneto the day after, and who knows what next. First come, first serve!
The question now, a very serious one, is what will be the status of the new state of Catalonia vis-à-vis the European Union. The Commission claims that, as a new country, it will have to follow the usual procedure followed by all new applicants. Under these circumstances, no new member state after splitting will ever become an EU member state because the country of origin, will veto.
The fact that break-away states must apply for membership just like any other state is not stated in any treaty. It is claimed by an “opinion” issued by the Legal Service of the European Commission many years ago to serve expediencies, at the time.
But opinions of the Legal service, or any legal service, are not binding. They are just opinions. We have seen many opinions tailor-made to suit the occasion and we will see many more.
The issue here is political. An opinion of the Legal Service is being used as a deterrent by the central government of Madrid to discourage splinter movements. But it is a good argument for political campaigns.
To this effect, if we take the case of Catalonia, Catalans are already European Citizens. Who will deprive them of such a privilege and why should Catalonia apply to became a member of the European Union since it already is?
This opinion, is only an argument, not more not less, and under many aspects it is not even a good argument.
Let’s take the case of Belgium. It might well potentially split as the Flemish are tempted very much by the idea.
What will happen then? Under the logic of the Legal Opinion above, the Flanders should apply as a new member state and it is certain that Belgium will veto. So, we will have the three supreme European Institutions, Council, Parliament and Commission, headquartered in a third country which applied for EU membership and was refused.
Independence of regions is not a crime. Most probably, it is the way out of the dictatorship of the Administration, the new plague of Europe, which emerged after the fall of the dictatorship of the Proletariat. What is important is not how many member states there will be and whether all of them will have a commissioner. This does not really matter. After all commissioners do not count very much. The Directors-General who have the real power are enough (38) to accommodate many new splinters.
What is important is to take this great liability of the independence of a European region and turn it into an asset for the survival of Europe. Because it can become an asset if we see it as an asset. Breakaway provinces that remain integral parts of the European Union will create the momentum for our Union to survive.
And while this is an argument that people with ordinary political thinking can understand, our European government, the European Commission, cannot.
Indeed, except for two personalities at the top of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker and Martin Selmayr, who are true Europeans and have a brilliant political mind, all others cannot even begin to fathom the difference between policies and politics.
We have only two, but no matter how good they are as politicians, they are not enough. We need a few more because our Union is big and our problems, all political, are too many.