Seperatist movements in the EU

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Gary Cooper, Oct 5, 2017.

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  1. [​IMG]
    This map shows the European regions fighting to achieve independence

    @ hellsbrink suggested in the Catalan Independence? Democracy dies in Spain thread that a thread on separatist movements across the EU would be a good idea. A quick google brought up the map above with its patchwork of Medieval statelets. Note that some of the regions depicted are outside the EU.

    It is immediately obvious why Spain is dead set against Catalonian independence since the country is home to at least half a dozen separatist movements to one extent or another. A Catalonian secession would probably bring about a domino effect. A further complication is that a couple of the prospective states lay claim to bits of France.

    France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany also have regions that would like a bit more independence. Belgium is a relatively recent creation that cobbled together two quite disparate regions into one country. The 2010 general election in Belgium produced a result that led to 541 days of negotiations before a government was formed. Germany is an even more recent creation with a federation of German states coalescing in 1871 to form the German Empire.

    Closer to home Ireland led the way in the 1920s by breaking away from the UK, with the noted exception of the bothersome bit in the north east. Scotland will probably vote itself out of the Union at some stage depending on how they fare economically, post-Brexit.

    Given the above it’s no wonder that the EU is less than enthusiastic about Catalonian independence. It’s difficult enough steadying the ship during the Brexit process without the entire continent balkanising. The thought of the the Eurozone's fourth largest economy breaking into half a dozen unsustainable states might be music to the ears of Nigel Farage but it must be causing some sleepless nights in Brussels and Berlin.
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  2. That map is rather deceptive in that it doesn't offer much differentiation for regions that lie in between the extremeties such as, say, Normandy who on a scale of 0 - 10 would probably be just hovering near 0 (as in there is the odd bumper sticker and flag every now and then but nobody really, truly cares ior thinks it realistic apart from a few hobbyist dreamers) and the likes of Catalonia which is probably an 8 or 9.

    Basque and perhaps Sardinia and Corsica would be grouped together with Catalonia, though I don't claim to be any kind of expert (just going by what I've observed through reading).
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  3. I do feel sorry for the Hungarians after Versailles though . . . they were dragged into a war that they were completely uninterested in by dint of being the unwilling half of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and thereafter end up getting a massive chunk of their country turned over to Romania, which contributed nearly **** all to the war effort.

    A rather nice Hungarian girl that I knew said that it wouldn't be so bad if they actually fought for it, but it is doubly humiliating because the Romanians spent the war half-heartedly offering themselves up for a shoeing and doing the political equivalent of looking busy when the seniors (UK, France etc) hoved into view.

    As always I am happy to be educated.
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  4. The map makes an attempt to distinguish between regions that are looking for more autonomy rather than full blown independence by italicising the names of the former (like Normandy) as opposed to Brittany next door.

    You make a good point that not all seperatist movements are the same.
  5. Even more sorry for them after Yalta where eastern Europe was basically surrendered to the Soviets.
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  6. As far as Belgium goes, there's no real urge to "split" the country. The two parties, one Walloon and one Flemish, who do want to split the country have pretty much gone the way of the Norwegian Blue and the NV-A may have an end goal of an independent Flanders in Europe but the reality is that they will not go down that route but are more concerned about more autonomy and, of course, "Flanders money for Flanders people" instead of subsidising the South.

    Their biggest issue, rightly imo, is the clusterfeck that is Belgian politics where nothing changes except the reality that taxes will go up and pensions/benefits will go down. As you rightly pointed out, the aftermath of the 2010 election was an embarrassment as nobody would work with the party that actually won the most votes in the 2010 election, and the same happened in 2014. The same will apply next time round in 2019, and it shows the contempt the politicians have for the electorate as they refuse to acknowledge that people do actually want things to change, and the reality is that nobody with control will change anything as their nests will lose feathers.

    The country does not need a Federal Government, a Vlaamse, Wallon, Canton and Brussels Government, it's a situation as ridiculous as in the UK where an incredible amount of money is being wasted on multiple layers of Government which results in no benefit to anyone whatsoever. Personally I would shrink the Federal Gov responsibilities considerably to matters such as defence and foreign affairs whilst allowing the "regional" governments the autonomy to fully self-govern as you do have a country which is split in four according to culture and language and that will never be fully "united as one" (Brussels counts as a special case in itself, the only part of Belgium that you would class as truly "Belgian") and that has to be recognised. After all, the "regions" already have responsibility for taxation, benefits, etc, legal systems and all the associated organisations are already in place, the way forward to sort out the stagnated clusterfeck is more a Confederation and not the current Federation.

    And if the pollies don't start to recognise that, they'll only see more of Flanders turn "yellow" as more vote NV-A, and that will mean that ignoring the issues many recognise will only lead to something that nobody wants as the considerably richer part loses patience with those whose only interest is keeping their snouts in the trough.
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  7. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Nationalist/Separationist groups have been around since countries were invented but they have come more to the fore as the EU strives for more and more "Union"! If these areas stayed in the EU post independence then they will get their wish but will just be regions of a larger entity, just a matter of marking time until the EU becomes one huge bureaucratic mass.

    If the region's want complete separation and to leave the EU then they will have the original country plus the weight of the EU fighting them and will be crushed where possible.

    One thing for sure is that making the EU one big area is not going to bring a happy, content and more importantly to the EU, compliant population.
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  8. Good assessment. Although, as you say, there's no movement to improve the situation so the Flemish might start agitating for full independence. Another problem for France since a little bit of the country is Flemish.
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  9. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    It's not just the EU. It's all part and parcel of the crisis of identity going on across the globe fuelled by the novelty of social media.
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  10. Another side of the coin. Although I don't think we can blame the EU for creating seperatist movements. Irish, Scottish, Basque and Catalonian seperatist movements for instance existed for many years before the EU came into existence.

    Ironically countries that have achieved seperation (like Ireland) haven't hesitated to vote themselves back into another Union. There are compelling economic reasons for this. The big draw of the EU is the guarantee of economic prosperity for its poorer members. To paraphrase David McWilliams, Ireland without the EU would be the Albania of western Europe. The problem for future leavers is in getting into the EU. Spain would undoubtedly veto any attempt by Catalonia to join, for instance.
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  11. If, as is expected, the NV-A increase their share further in 2019 (my mistake, the next "GE" is 2019 and not next year, unless the current coalition collapses) then others will have to waken up and smell the coffee as not only will some of the existing ones with heads in the sand be out of a job there will also be more agitation from the minority who do want to stir the pot and that could lead to the groundswell nobody, especially Brussels, actually wants.

    Their fate is in their own hands, for they got the wakeup call in 2010 and the result 4 years later showed that the issue is not going to go away.
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  12. My bold: if Catalonia and others proceed with indepedence regardless it could usher in the rolling back of the EU or the formation of a new club more akin to the original EC, with a close eye kept on mission creep after the lessons learned from the EU.
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  13. Cornwall is missing.

    A year or two ago I saw a car with a sticker with a Devon flag and independence slogan on it. Asked a Cornish lad at work and he said that Devon's always like that, if the Cornish get something then Devon wants there slice too. Dunno how gen his thoughts were.

    Edit: I need new glasses. It's there.
  14. You say that as if the EU actually care what 'people' think.
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  15. To play devil's advocate, would an EU made up of smaller states, each with less clout economically, not be the ideal for the federalists of the EU? Less opposition, more dependence on the collective for foreign policy, defence, etc? Finally achieving the dream of a USE without major powers in it?

    Apart, of course, from one or two major players. Well, one. The model of the USSR ("ah, but they didn't do it right, we will") as the guiding force.
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