Augsburg, Germany | German federalism vs. Spanish federalism
An academic conference organized on January 19 by the University of Augsburg Diplocat highlights the differences between the territorial models Spanish, German and Canadian
"I am convinced that Chancellor Merkel and the other German politicians and institutions would have dealt with a situation like the one in Catalonia in a different way from the Spanish Government – more tactfully, more intelligently and with an open mind”. These are the words of Albert Royo, Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat), during the opening of the conference "What is going on in Catalonia? Reassessing self-determination in Western Europe", held last January 19 in the Bavarian city of Augsburg. Royo referred to the recent report of the German Constitutional Court on the possibility of a self-determination referendum in Bavaria, arguing that if one day the support for independence in this region goes from the current 2% to the majority positions it has reached in Catalonia, the reaction of the German government would be certainly different.
Royo also mentioned the "400 judiciary cases against Catalan political representatives" and referred briefly about the specific cases of councillor Joan Coma, former President Artur Mas, and Catalan Parliament President Carme Forcadell, concluding that "this legal offensive by the Spanish state sets a bad precedent for western democracies, as elected representatives are being persecuted through the courts for alleged crimes of opinion”.
Video part 1
The director of the Institute of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American at the University of Augsburg, Hanno Ehrlich, and the director of the Institute of Canadian Studies, Peter A. Kraus, accompanied Royo in the welcome ceremony. The conference, organized by Diplocat in co-operation with the University, included two round tables, one on the present political situation in Catalonia, and the other one as an exercise in comparative federalism.
The first table involved Walther L. Bernecker, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg; Peter A. Kraus, director of the Institute of Canadian Studies; Stefan Oeter, Professor of Law at the University of Hamburg; and Joan Vallvé, vice-president of Omnium Cultural and MEP Group of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (1994-1999, 2002-2004, 2009).
Video part 2
Participants in the second table were Rainer-Olaf Schultze, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Augsburg; Alain G. Gagnon, professor of Contemporary Québec at La Sorbonne in Paris; Ferran Requejo, Professor of Political Science at the University Pompeu Fabra; and Kai-Olaf Lang, Senior Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).
In partnership with:
The University of Augsburg was founded in 1970. It has approximately 20,000 students and an academic staff of about 1,200, and it attracts students and scholars from far beyond its immediate catchment area. The University of Augsburg offers a wide range of academic programmes in arts, humanities, natural sciences, business and law.
Last updated: 3 March 2017