Independence of Catalonia: Why It Is Impossible

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-11-35-42

E. Cherkasova (, 
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation 


There are three main reasons why there is no chance for creating an independent state in Catalonia. The first one refers to the Spanish Constitution, the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia and acting legislation that definitely and unambiguously prohibit the secession and the referendum on independence. To overcome this legal deadlock Spanish political forces should agree on the way of constitutional reform moving towards federation, which is not the case. The second one is connected with the political situation in Spain where the minority government formed through the motion of no-confidence and headed by P. Sanchez lacks sufficient support from the parliament to deal with the acute political crisis in Catalonia. The Catalan crisis coincided with the crisis of the Spanish two-party political system. The situation in Catalonia itself is no less complicated as the three separatist parties victorious in recent elections have different approaches to many political and economical issues. The third reason is the lack of foreign support (mainly from the EU) to the idea of Catalan independence. In the case of secession Catalonia will lose its membership not only in the EU but in eurozone, Shengen zone, NATO, WTO and even UN. Meanwhile, the Catalan problem has turned into the main threat to the security and territorial integrity of Spain. Full-scale negotiations between Madrid and Barcelona on the whole complex of accumulated problems of political, legal, economic, financial, cultural and linguistic nature are vitally important. These negotiations will undoubtedly be long and complicated and may theoretically lead to a revision of the autonomous statute in terms of expanding the financial autonomy of the region, which would greatly contribute to consolidation of the Catalan society and isolation of “irreconcilables”. Inability of both sides to start negotiations and to abstain from unilateral actions, let alone to come to an agreement, show that the present crisis has no mutually acceptable solution in the short term. The new Spanish government will have to address the Catalan problem as its top priority. 


Spain, Catalonia, independence, autonomy, referendum, elections, constitution 


1. Spain. Constitution and Legislative Acts (Translated from Spanish). Moscow, Progress, 1982. 352 p. (In Russ.)

2. Khenkin S. M. Separatizm po-katalonski [Separatism, Catalonian Way]. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, no. 5, pp. 29-40. DOI:10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-5-29-40

3. Khenkin S. M. Ispaniya: ispytanie Kataloniei [Spain: Test of Catalonia] Available at: (accessed 15.04.2018).

4. Supreme Court orders pre-trial detention for Catalan separatist leaders, reactivates international arrest warrants. Available at: (accessed 09.04.2018).

5. Elecciones Generales 2016. Available at: (accessed 05.04.2018).

6. Resultados elecciones catalanes 2017 en Cataluña. La Vanguardia, 23.12.2017. Available at: (accessed 05.04.2018).

7. Puigdemont jura la Constitución por “imperativo legal” y con fidelidad al pueblo. Available at: (accessed 20.04.2018).

8. Catalan party’s decision to abstain prevents appointment of new premier. Available at: (accessed 01.04.2018).

9. Support for Catalan independence falls to 40.8%, new survey shows. Available at: (accessed 05.04.2018).

10. Маcron: “My partner and friend is Spain as a whole. Catalonia does not concern me”. Available at: (accessed 05.03.2018).

11. Macron le dice a Rajoy que está comprometido con “la unidad de España”. Available at: (accessed 05.04.2018).

12. Europe’s Leaders Rally Behind Spain Over Catalan Independence. Available at: (accessed 12.03.2018).

13. Merkel, Macron and May show support for Spain over Catalan crisis. Available at: (accessed 12.04.2018). 


Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Cherkasova E. Independence of Catalonia: Why It Is Impossible. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2018, vol. 62, No 11, pp. 35-42.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
2021, vol. 65, No. 4

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  •  Coronacrisis in the EU: a Knock-Down or a Jump-Off for Integration? 
  •  Latin America in the South-South Cooperation Against the Background of Globalization Controversies 
  •  Reforming the Saudi Economy: Results and Perspectives 
  •  Non-Western Theories of Development in the Global Capitalism Era
  •  About an Attempt to Create a Theory of International Relations in IMEMO in the 1970s
View This Issue (2021, vol. 65, No. 4)
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the IV issue of 2020 and I issue of 2021 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial