Odense, Denmark | The Danish claim for a negotiated solution by Catalan and Spanish governments
Came up again in a conference with participation from politicians and academics, organised today by DIPLOCAT in Odense.
Approximately one year after the Danish Parliament debated on the right to self-determination of Catalonia, and approved a resolution asking for dialogue in Madrid and a negotiated solution, the Catalan case was again subject for debate in this country. This time the occasion was a conference on “The Resurgence of Secessionism in Europe. The Catalan Case” in Odense, organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) and the Centre for Border Region Studies of the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).
At the beginning of the conference Steen Bo Franden, Director of the Centre for Border Region Studies of the SDU, welcomed the audience, explained that conflicts related to secession are of special interest for the Centre and welcomed the opportunity for this important debate. Jordi Solé, who is also President of the Executive Committee of DIPLOCAT, was thankful for the invitation and explained the objective of conferences such as this one, of which DIPLOCAT has already organised around forty.
Round Table I: Secessionism in Europe and What is going on in Catalonia?
The first round table of the day dealt with the topic of self-determination processes in Europe from a political science as well as legal point of view. The political focus was given by Jaume Castan Pinos, Assistant Professor of the SDU. Castan mentioned three conditions which favoured secessions: the coexistence of differentiated national groups, economic conflicts and fear to lose some aspects of one’s identity, such as e.g. language. Ulrike Barten, Associate Professor of Law at the SDU, approached the Catalan case from a legal point of view, and even though she conceded that the Catalan case does not comply with any of the conditions justifying secession, ended by saying that it is within Madrid’s power to offer a political solution, most of all when taking into account that Catalonia is proceeding in a “model-like way” from the democratic point of view. Helena Spongenberg, correspondent of the newspaper EU Observer, living in Barcelona and born in Denmark gave an update of the recent events in Catalonia.
Round table II: Catalonia at a Crossroad
Jacob Lund, International Observer and former social-democrat Member of the Danish Parliament (Folketing), where he participated in above mentioned debate on Catalonia, insisted that the negotiation between Barcelona and Madrid is “the only way out of the conflict”, and criticised the attitude of the Spanish government, which he accused to act in a too conservative way and to have entered a dead end street without room for manoeuvre. “If they could turn back the clock, I presume they would act differently”, said Lund, who also affirmed that what is happening in Catalonia could also be applied as a model fin conflicts in other parts of the world. Lund also expressed his preference for a more autonomous Catalonia to an independent Catalonia.
Joan Majó, former Spanish Minister of Industry and Energy with the Socialist government of Felipe González and High Level Advisor to the European Commission, was also outspoken for negotiation, and depicted several possible future scenarios. He said he would feel very comfortable with a strong Catalonia inside of an asymentric Spain, as well as with an independent Catalonia inside the EU. Majó asked for a referendum and concluded that “the only possible solution is negotiation, democracy and legality”.
Jordi Solé, Secretary for Foreign and EU Affairs of the Government of Catalonia was the third politician to participate in this round table. Solé explained that the Catalan Government has initiated a transition towards independence as a consequence of the democratic mandate obtained in the last elections, but that the door is always kept open for dialogue with Madrid and the possibility to organise a referendum similar to the one in Scotland.
In partnership with:
The University of Southern Denmark (Syddansk Universitet, SDU) was established in 1998 when the Odense University, the Southern Denmark School of Business and Engineering and the South Jutland University Centre were merged. The University Library of Southern Denmark was also merged with the university in 1998. In 2006, the Odense University College of Engineering was merged into the university and renamed as the Faculty of Engineering. In 2007, the Business School Centre in Slagelse and the National Institute of Public Health were also merged into the SDU.
It has campuses located in Funen, Southern Jutland and Zealand. The university offers a number of joint programmes in co-operation with the University of Flensburg and the University of Kiel. Contacts with regional industries and the international scientific community are strong.
The Center for Border Region Studies the Department of Political Science and Public Management focuses on theoretical, methodological and empirical research activities within the following topics: Changing Role and Function of Borders; Cross-Border Cooperation; Minorities in European Border Regions; and The Role of (Border) Regions in Europe.
Last updated: 16 June 2016