By Danilo Turk Source: CGTN Published: 2017-10-31
"The question is whether the will of the people of Catalonia is really in favor of independence. This is not as clear as one could assume, because people of that region are really divided," said former President of Slovenia, Danilo Turk, on CGTN’s World Insight.
Turk was discussing how Europe can remain united, particularly given the rise of far-right nationalism across the continent and secessionist movements like that currently happening in Spain which have combined to derail the EU`s motto of "Unity in Diversity".
When asked about his views on the interaction between the Catalan local government and the central authorities in Madrid, Turk said recent policies have not been wise because the referendum just shows the opinions of a small number of people.
He said that independence has to be supported by a strong majority in the country.
He also pointed out that the Catalonia issue is unlikely to set a precedent for secessionist movements elsewhere in Europe.
"In normal circumstances, people will think very seriously before opting for independence as opposed to national unity," he said, using Scotland as an example.
He suggests the EU should sit down and seriously think about its future.
"The European Union is a little bit like a human being, it has two legs, one leg is member states, the other is European institutions. And like human beings, when one leg suffers, soon or later, the other suffers also. So right now we see suffering in nation states of Europe, but the institutions become more limited in their capacity. What we now need is a kind of generation of political will at European level through European institutions that will define the projection for the future better."
The author is a foreign non-resident senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.