Catalonia’s claim of independence is not a ‘sui generis’ within European political landscape. After the fall of the USSR, the map of Europe has undergone a significant change of uniting, and fracturing states. From spontaneous reunification of Germany, and peaceful split of Czechoslovakia, to tragic loss of life in Balkan wars, leading to fracturing of Yugoslavia, and declaration of Kosovo independence. Not less turbulent was the heritage of the Soviet Union, re-opening centuries long disputes between people once entering Russian Empire by will or by force. Even more complex the issues of created by Communist new entities – the fruit of political will.
However it has been Europe regarding itself as a
stronghold of human rights in complex process of statehood construction, with
European nations living through times of change upholing ambition
of safeguards of the human dignity. Article 2 of Lisbon Treaty states:
“The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity,
freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law
and respect for human rights, including the rights
of persons belonging to minorities.”
In this line the UK government gave an example of dealing with the independence
issues, sparing no efforts to debate the Scotland’s secession,
perspective nation-wide, and offered their compatriots a referendum.
In this context the Catalan case has produced a scar in European history
with at most negative impact on the human rights cause.
The barbaric violence of the Spain’s riot police,
using baton, and rubber bullets upon Madrid orders
as an argument with the Catalan dissidence, overturned the idea of the superiority of a rule of law in the EU with a gun and a fist.
Damaging the EU image, Spanish government also undermined the cause of Human Rights worldwide. From now onwards any King of Cannibals can refer to Spanish government crackdown in Catalonia as a precedent of dealing with a dissent in Europe. Madrid ordered to shoot Catalans, but killed image of the EU as a world human rights superpower.