CATALONIA AND KOSOVO CASES: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

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Abstract: The aim of this text is to compare cases of Catalonia and Kosovo in terms of their separatism. The paper is organized according to the model of point-by-point comparison. The time span of the research extends from the end of the Second World War until the end of 2017.

  The main working argument is that the two cases have some similarities, but also a lot of crucial differences. The comparison between Kosovo and Catalonia cases shows that there are a lot of similarities but the differences prevail. The aims of both pro-independence movements are the same, but the used methods, economic and social potential, main political actors who are involved (regionally and globally), international realities are quite opposite.

Key words: Kosovo, Catalonia, Catalonian crisis, separatism, independence

Introduction

In the early autumn of 2017 the Spanish province of Catalonia became a center of global media attention. The reason was successful referendum and proclaimed independence, which led to clashes with official Spanish authorities. The process became known as a Catalonia independence crisis. During that period, a lot of publications, public speeches, comments and analysis appeared about the European and global separatism. One of the most frequently mentioned names was that of Kosovo, which somehow became an example, warning or inspiration in accordance to different points of view towards the crisis.

The aim of this text is to compare cases of Catalonia and Kosovo in terms of their separatism. The attempt of achieving such a goal should be made on condition that the so called Catalonian crisis is still in development and the required historical distance for an in-depth analysis is missing. So such a text should be used for future research, because there is much to be added and upgraded. The paper is organized according to the model of point-by-point comparison. The time span of the research extends from the end of the Second World War, when the separatism gradually evolved, until the end of 2017 when the regional elections in Catalonia marked a new phase in the crisis there.  

The main working argument is that the two cases have some similarities, but also a lot of crucial differences. The cases will be compared in the context of several dimensions – history, geography, states, geopolitics, leadership, social and economic development, and methods of the independence movement, international relations and global actors.

Geographical and demographical characteristics

Catalonia and Kosovo are historical provinces within the huge South European peninsulas – Iberian and Balkan. Catalonia is situated in the Northeastern corner of Spain and Kosovo in the center of the Balkans. Both regional centers - Barcelona and Pristina are slightly remote from the main capital – Madrid and Belgrade. In geographical terms the two provinces are different. Kosovo is landlocked whereas Catalonia has a huge Mediterranean coastline (580 km.). Catalonian proximity to a big, wealthy country such as France as well as its   coastline give a lot of economic opportunities. Kosovo’s topography is difficult for development of infrastructure (a lot of mountains, valleys) but is quite suitable for guerrilla fights. It has a profoundly military landscape.[1] As an opposite of this, Catalonian landscape has perfect trade characteristics. Not only the size of both territories is different (Kosovo - 10,908 km2; Catalonia - 32,108 km2), but also the possibilities which they provide in terms of development, economy, transport, tourism, trade.

The demographical composition of Kosovo and Catalonia is quite different. Definitely Kosovo Albanians and Catalans are the majority ethnic groups after the Second World War in both provinces. They are almost constantly growing compared to the rest of the country as it is seen from the graphics.  Both have huge emigrant groups in other countries. Kosovo Albanians in Switzerland, Germany, Italy. Catalans in Argentina, France, Mexico, Germany.

KOSOVO

1953

1961

1971

1981

1991

2011[2]

Albanians

524 559

64.9%

646 605

67.2%

917 167

73.7%

1226 736

77.4%

1596 072

81.6%

1616 869

92.93%

Serbs

189 869

23.5%

227 016

23.6%

228.261

18.4%

209 497

13.2%

194 190

9.9%

25 532

1.46%

 

CATALONIA

1950

1960

1970

1981

1991

2011[3]

Population

3,240,313

3,925,779

5,122,567

5,949,829

6,080,751

7,501,853

Catalans: 4,751,310 (63 %) [4]

Spain   %

11.5 %

12.8 %

15.1 %

15.8 %

15.6 %

16.1 %

Nowadays Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo live in clearly separated enclaves, so interaction between them is quite difficult. The dialog is hard and most of the time missing. In Catalonia there is a minority group in Aran Valley (administrative entity) in the Northwest of Catalonia which has its own language and officially recognized right of self-determination. Although they are not a big community (around 10 000 people), they loudly expressed their wish to stay in Spain and secede from Catalonia if it leaves the country.[5]  The number of Catalans in the province is close to 5 million which makes them around 63 % of the population. It is important to note that 18.6 % of the Catalonian population are immigrants who were born abroad and came to the province mainly in the beginning of the 21st  Century and another 18 % are born in other parts of Spain (1.1.2012).[6]

Pro-independence pressure for more rights and self-ruling was coming mainly from the youth in both regions. University students have been most active in such efforts and activities. That is a common feature in all separatist movements – energy of the youth is the fuel of changes, no matter of the used – methods. For example, the main support for Catalonia independence comes from young Catalans, and the lowest - among the region’s older voters.[7] The leading age group in Kosovo during the clashes with the authorities were the young people. Majority of the members of Kosovo Liberation Army are also young people. In both cases youth is vanguard of the pro-independence movement. This is actually a universal principal for big social and political changes, especially separatism. 

Culture, religion, language and demographics

Kosovo is equally influenced by Central Europe and Orient (Middle East).[8] Catalonia is part of the Mediterranean north with Roman culture and distinct French influence.  Comparison of the languages of the two ethnic groups and their linguistic relation to the official language of the state is attempting to show the level of integrity and communication between the majority and minority within the country. An official language in Spain is Castilian Spanish and in Yugoslavia it was Serbo-Croatian and then Serbian.

Language is a crucial feature of national and personal identity.[9] Albanian language was the only language in former Yugoslavia (except of Hungarian, spoken in Vojvodina) which did not belong to the South Slavic language group. Unlike Catalan, which has a lot of similarities with official Castilian, Albanian is not understandable for Serbian and Slavic language speakers without relevant training. That’s a huge difference in understanding and communication between the dominant culture and people in the province. Catalans are bilingual (majority speak Catalonian and Castilian) while only Albanians in Kosovo born in or before the 1980-s speak Serbo-Croatian.

Language is a central part of the pro-independence movements in both cases. After the 1980s both ethnic groups place a great emphasis on the use of their own language. Albanians even made parallel educational structures outside the official system in former Yugoslavia. In Catalonia the local authorities has given a significant priority to the use of Catalan over Spanish.[10]

Catalan culture is very similar to the Spanish one, whereas the Serbian and Albanian are quite different in terms of language, religion and history.[11] Both communities (Catalаns and Albanians) are very keen to preserve their own traditions and culture. We could say that they have very strong national identity and sense of “self” which they try to express in politics and everyday life (events, ceremonies, clothing, music, cuisine). Family bonds are very strong, especially in Albanian case. All mentioned is a solid base for development of nationalism. 

 

Both communities are very protective in self-guarding their own culture and identity.  For example Catalonia, although it is one of the most liberal provinces in Spain, has the most municipalities, compared to the rest of the country, which issued a moratorium on the opening of new places of worship (there is no mosque in the province) and restricts the wearing of the niqab.[12] During the migrant crisis in 2015 Albanian communities in Kosovo were not welcoming to Syrian immigrants although they were the only country on the Balkan route that was from the same religion.[13] Both of them are fond to their own history and put a lot of efforts to research and keep it, including with the elements of heroisation of figures of their history.

Religion composition of the regions is also quite different. Catalans are Catholics as the rest of the country. The two main ethnic groups in Kosovo belong to different denominations. Albanians are mainly Sunni Muslims with a small percentage of Catholics while Serbians are predominantly Orthodox Christians. However, in both cases we have not devoted or extremely religious population and independence movement which is religiously determined.

Historical dimensions

Both ruling regimes in Spain and Yugoslavia had authoritarian and totalitarian characteristics. Franco’s Spain (1939 – 1975) was an authoritarian state with deep conservative and religious roots. The motto of the regime was “Spain: one, great and free”. Tito’s Yugoslavia (1944 – 1980) was a unique state creation which could be described as semi-totalitarian socialism. Its moto was “Brotherhood and Unity”. The first one relied on nationalism, whereas the second one – on multiculturalism in handling of the ethnic problems. Both regimes counted on political centralism and suppressed the national question.

The Kosovo Albanians gained significant rights of self-determination, had independent structures and even a status of autonomy according to the Yugoslav constitution adopted in 1974.[14] Actually Kosovo became an autonomous region within the Serbian republic. Before the death of Josip Broz Tito (1980) the tensions between the different republics and ethnic groups were suppressed by the state and its supreme leader. The power of the federal government started to weaken and the nationalist feelings and movements in different republics started to grow.  The Yugoslav disintegration was a constant process which continue more than two decades. In 1980 tensions between Kosovo Albanians and Serbians in Kosovo became more and more intensive, often with violence. The rise of Slobodan Milosevic as a leading Serbian politician resulted from that conflict. His famous saying in Kosovo: “No one should dare to beat you” with which he addressed the Serbians there, became his entrance ticket to the top of Serbian politics.[15] The special rights of the province were abolished in 1989 after the first changes of the Yugoslavian constitution. Paramilitary “Kosovo Liberation Army” was established in the begging of the 1990s, but similar groups already operated in the province. Clashes between the paramilitary forces of Kosovo Albanians and Yugoslavian army at the end of 1990s led to NATO intervention and heavy bombardment of Serbia. Following a peace agreement, Yugoslav army withdrew from the province and the United Nations took control over it. Kosovo became an independent country and proclaimed independence in 2008.

During the Franco’s era Catalan identity was severely oppressed. The Catalans were an object of cultural assimilation mainly by banning of their language to be officially learned.[16] Any form of regionalism was prohibited and prosecuted by the authorities.  After the death of Franco (1975) a transition to democracy began and the first free elections were held in 1977. Limited Catalonian autonomy was established in the Constitution of 1979. The fast track toward membership in the European communities (former name of European Union) was open and Spain became a full member in 1985. Despite all these changes the Catalans’ desire for full autonomy and creation of their own state did not decline. During the following decades they have tried step by step all legal forms of creation of an independent Catalonian state.

After the negotiations between Spanish and Catalonian authorities in 2006, Catalonia gained significant rights of self-government in the finances, health care and education. The most important is that Catalans were granted the status of a “nation”.[17] In 2010 Spanish Constitutional court struck down key parts of the document and most importantly for Catalans that they are not a “nation” but “nationality”. The decision sparked a new wave of protests in Barcelona and gave more power to the separatist movement. More than 1 million Catalans marched under the slogan “We are the nation”. In the following years the separatist movement used the instruments of referendums and elections in achieving its main goal – an independent state. It should be emphasized that Catalonia and Basque country are the only regions in Spain that have their own fully deployed police forces. 

Tension between Madrid and Barcelona escalated in 2017 after the referendum (1.10) in Catalonia which was declared illegal by Spain's Constitutional Court. After the positive results of the plebiscite, Catalonian parliament voted in favor of independence (27.10).  Spanish government and parliament, backed strongly by the king, imposed direct rule over the province by invoking Article 155 of the constitution which was never been used before. The Catalan government was sacked, parliament dissolved and major separatist leaders arrested. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and some senior figures fled to Belgium. Snap elections were called (21.12) but the pro-independence parties won a majority again.

The situation developed into the worst political crisis in Spain since the failed coup attempted in 1981. It is а result of bad politics altogether – in the region, in metropolitan Spain and in the EU.[18] The warnings about the possible bloody conflict in Spain similar to Balkan ones became very popular.[19] It should be counted that such prognosis are made in the most emotional moments of the crisis.

The growth of the Catalan pro-independence emerged from several directions – the abolished Statute of autonomy ruled by Spanish Constitutional court, the language interference, the debt crisis in the Eurozone and Spain, money transfers to central budget as well as smaller cases but with big impact over separatist feelings, such as sports events, etc. The last, but one of the most serious detonators of separatist feelings, were the arrests of Catalan leaders and used force by the Spanish police.

Spanish and Serbian (Yugoslavian) authorities made one and the same mistake. They violated the rule that it is very hard to take away given rights or privileges. Belgrade did it in 1989 and Madrid in 2010. It should be mentioned that the Serbian problem was inherited by the Yugoslav constitution of 1974. Nevertheless, taking back of given rights is possible only at a high political price.

During the whole researched period, protests and rallies are held also by supporters of staying within the current states – Serbs in Kosovo want to be part of Serbia, Spaniards and others - to remain part of Spain.

Kosovo Albanian and Catalan nationalism

Separatism and nationalism almost everywhere and every time in history are very closely connected. Catalan and Kosovo Albanian nationalism revived gradually in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Catalans used only peaceful methods of protest. Since the 1950s onwards, there were student strikes and street demonstrations, but they never turned into an organized violent resistant movement. Their nationalism was expressed mainly through the cultural models – music, literature, events or some forms of protest like priest’s preaching, hanging of the Catalonian flag, inscriptions on the walls etc.[20]

Albanian (as Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian, Bosnjak) nationalism was a cause not a consequence of the disintegration of Yugoslavia. In the 1980s Kosovo Albanians had been divided in their struggle for independence. One stream was for peaceful achievement of their goals while the other went on the path of military resistance. The first underground organizations were established in that period. Some violent attacks started – for example the shooting of Yugoslav consular official in Brussels by Kosovo Albanian nationalist.[21] It should be underlined that majority underground Albanian organizations in Kosovo, West Europe and Turkey in the 1970s and 1980s had Marxist-Leninist ideology.[22] The biggest and most influential among all of them was paramilitary Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). It emerged in 1994-96 from the framework of League for Socialist republic of Albanians in Yugoslavia which had changed its name several times since its creation in 1982 in Turkey.[23] The leading figures of the organization began sabotages, killings of officials and armed actions against the state authorities in the end of the 1980s. KLA played a significant role in the so called Kosovo war (1998-1999). It has even its own intelligence. The leaders of KLA became part of the political establishment of Kosovo after the end of NATO intervention.

Catalan independentism and nationalism is mainly pro-EU orientated while Kosovo Albanian’s is mainly pro-USA. The statue of former American president Bill Clinton was erected in Pristina and his birthday is officially celebrated in Kosovo.  The huge majority of Kosovo’s citizens declared positive attitudes toward the United States.[24] Catalans are deeply involved in the European integration process. Their parties declared themselves as very pro-European. The MP’s from the region are among the left-wing and liberal groups in the European parliament.  The majority of Catalan nationalists consider themselves not nationalists but followers of independentism in the framework of United Europe.[25]

Majority of political organisations which struggle for independence have left-wing political roots (Marxist, socialist, left-wing liberalism). Catalans and Kosovo Albanians political parties have unusual ideological combinations which however are subordinate to the main idea of independence. Main political organizations which struggle for independent Catalonia are situated in the left part of the political spectrum. They declare themselves as social-democratic, liberal-left, progressive, socialist, republican.[26] This is also a legacy from the Civil war, Franco era and political principles of the conservative People's Party (Partido Popular), which Catalans see as the central enemies of their independence.

The problem of Kosovo’s political parties is their ideological definiteness and lack of stable political ideas. They often follow main European trends according to current situation and sometimes it is more a matter of fashion and contact with the leading political families in EU than common ideas. The Democratic League of Kosovo (Partia Demokratike e Kosovës) declares itself as right-wing. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (Partia Demokratike e Kosovës) was originally social-democratic but in 2013 repositioned itself in the center-right. Self-determination (Vetëvendosje) is positioned in the center-left and its main struggle is for uniting Kosovo and Albania. The only common feature among them is Albanian nationalism.

They accused Spaniards and Serbians in nationalism and even chauvinism. Both prefer to be seen as people who struggle for human rights, democracy and in Catalan case with emphasize on open and liberal society. Catalans and Kosovo Alnanians have their martyrs and developed their own mythology of resistance against the oppressors. Every clash between their supporters and “the others” fuels such narratives and is a source of additional motivation for separatism.

The crucial difference between both cases is that Catalan’s resistance hasn’t had violent or paramilitary forms of unrest while the Kosovo Albanians used them during the researched period. The former have more in common with the Northern Ireland and Basque provinces where paramilitary groups fought for independence – IRA and ETA. Catalonia has never been a violent troublemaker for the central government.

Economic situation and separatism

The Kosovo economic situation was very complicated during the researched period – the most underdeveloped part of former Yugoslavia and one of the poorest countries in Europe almost 10 years after the declared independence.[27] Although it has huge reserves of lignite and mineral resources (coal, zinc, lead, silver chromium, bauxite, magnesium, semi-precious stones) they are not properly managed.[28] Pristina has a problem to sustain its own fiscal system so it uses the euro as an official currency of the state after the agreement with the European Central Bank. Considering the economic reasons of separatism, parallels could be made between Kosovo and Scotland, where both states are poorer than the rest of the country (Kosovo-Serbia, Scotland than England).

Catalonia is among the richest Spanish and EU regions with its own economic model. Its economy is the second biggest in Spain with its total GDP for 2016 just after the Madrid community. The GDP per capita is in fourth place after the capital, Navara and Basque country.[29] Catalonia has developed from an industrial power to a modern center of finance, tourism, culture, services, hi-tech businesses.[30] A huge part in that process played Barcelona’s seaport, which is number one for cruise liners in Europe and fifth in the world.[31]

Economic perceptions of injustice give substance to secessionist movements (Slovenia, Singapore, Slovakia).[32] For decades Catalans are resentful of Madrid because so much of their taxes have gone to the central budget of the country. Their argument is that Madrid drains their budget, produces fiscal deficit by domination and treachery.[33] They also accuse Spanish authorities that they follow political and not economic priorities in building of infrastructure.[34]

During the Eurozone debt crisis and Spanish financial crisis (2010-2012) many Catalans were not satisfied by the way the central government of Spain handled the situation. The voices for more fiscal independence and self-government of financial resources became louder at that time. One of the reasons for the increase of separatism is at that period.

Preparing for independence the Catalans considered different options for setting up their own currency. In financial aspects they are very smart, modern and adaptive. The Catalan government sent representatives in Estonia to learn more about the digital currency achievements there.[35] They even discussed the transitional introduction of cryptocurrency after leaving Spain.

Catalonian case is very similar to Slovenian in Yugoslavia where Slovenians didn’t want to transfer money which to be distributed to poorer republics and regions (Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosna).

External factors and diaspora

One of the differences between Kosovo and Catalonian cases is the external centers, which are involved in the life of the province. Albania has always been presented in one way or another in Kosovo. Tirana played the role of logistic center and territorial base in the struggle of the Kosovo Albanians for independence, especially in the 1980s when Ramiz Alia became leader of the country.[36] After the separation of the province from Serbia (Yugoslavia) the role of a center for the Serbian population played Belgrade, which continue to support its enclaves financially, economically, politically, culturally. It is interesting that Alia saw the Irish Republican army (IRA) as a possible model for Albanian insurgent army in Kosovo and obtained information and details from Belfast in that direction.[37] He also tried to make an informal coalition that included several countries from the region in order to put Kosovo question in bilateral relations between them (Bulgaria, Hungary).[38] During the 1990’s Albanian leader Sali Berisha was trying to be involved in Kosovo affairs, but serious internal, mainly socioeconomic problems, in Albania at that time didn’t allowed him full devotion to that matter.

Catalans have a big diaspora which is mainly in Argentina, France, Mexico, and Germany. The separatist movement receives its support in different ways – money, public speakers. Kosovo Albanians have huge and influential emigrant communities which took a crucial part in their separatist movement. Especially influential in Kosovo Albanian struggle for independence were the groups in Switzerland and Germany.[39]  There is also lots of political, economic, cultural and geopolitical influences in different parts of Kosovo. It comes mainly from Albania, USA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia. In comparison with Albanians and Serbians in Kosovo, Catalans are pretty much on their own. That is also a difference between the two cases.

The separatists tend to exaggerate the real situation in their countries in order to get more international attention and support. They often talk about severe oppression, even genocide, freedom fighting, sacrifices, democracy.

 

Political leadership of independence movement

 

Political leadership is a key part of any separatist movement. Leaders give their impact, emotional coloring and direction of the processes. They influence society, implement different ideas and represent the movement before the world. The most prominent public figures in the Kosovo independence movement are those of Ibrahim Rugova (1944-2006) and Hashim Thaci (1968). In the moment of the proclamation of independence during the Catalonian crisis the undoubted leader of the Catalan separatists was their President Carles Puigdemont (1962). The vice-president Oriol Junqueras (1969) was the other central figure in that historical context.[40]

They have a lot in common in their biographies and political development. First, they were involved in separatist activities since their youth. They could be described as hardcore separatists with long political careers. Rugova was involved in students’ demonstrations in Pristina in 1968.[41] Catalan leaders became active in their teenage years. Thachi was part of the Kosovar emigration circles in Switzerland.[42] Second, they studied humanitarian majors with emphasis on history and language. Rugova graduated in Albanian language (Pristina), literary theory (Paris) and has a doctorate from the University of Paris. Thaçi studied philosophy and history (Pristina) and Balkan history and international relations (Zurich) without graduating the latter. Puigdemont studied Catalan philology (Girona), but later dropped and devoted himself to career in journalism. Junqueras graduated in modern and contemporary history (Barcelona), has history doctorate and worked as a university professor. Fourth, all of them speak several languages: Rugova (Serbo-Croatian, French), Thaci (Serbo-Croatian, German, and English), Puigdemont (Spanish, French, English, Romanian), Junqueras (Spanish, Italian). Fifth, most of them were influenced by external secessionist leaders, cases and organizations. Rugova had the nickname the Balkan Gandhi and accepted the ideas of the Indian politician for peaceful resistance. There is opinion that he lacked strategy, was rigid and uncertain as a politician.[43] Puigdemont had visited Slovenia just after it seceded in the early 1990’s and was impressed by the referendum, independence victory and support of international community.[44] In his youth Hashim Tachi was interested in the Cuban revolution as a guerilla fighting model.[45] He is the only one of the researched leaders that rely on violent methods of separatism.  As a leader of the paramilitary Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), he had a crucial and controversial role during the Kosovo war. Until the crisis the Catalans counted on institutions and democratic process to achieve their goal.

Tangled: Belgrade - Pristina – Barcelona - Madrid

The Serbian authorities have never recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state and claimed that its territory is integral part of Serbia, which is also clearly stressed in the Serbian Constitution.[46] After years of severe clashes, thousands of killed from both sides, quarrels on numerous issues, it is very hard to have normal relations between Belgrade and Pristina. There is a negotiation process facilitated by the EU authorities known as the Brussels Agreement but not much has been achieved for the change of the status quo. It was stopped after the assassination of the Serbian Kosovo leader Oliver Ivanovic in January 2018.[47] This is an example of how volatile is still the situation and how ethnically divided are both communities.

The Spanish government is one of the five EU member states that still doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence. The official authorities in Madrid denied any possible comparison between the cases of Kosovo and Catalonia. Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Spanish unity gathered in Barcelona for a big rally after the referendum. The ex-president of the European parliament and Catalan socialist Josep Borrel said before the crowd: “Catalonia is not a colony; it is not under occupation. It is not a state like Kosovo[48]

Catalonian pro-independence parties make a lot of parallels between their case and the one of Kosovo. They claim that they have the same right to self-determination as the Balkan province. The biggest party in the Catalonian ruling coalition in 2010 asked the Spanish Government to recognize Kosovo’s independence and the right of self-determination of the people in accordance with the United Nations decisions. [49]  Catalonian member of European parliament Josep Maria Terricabras expects Kosovo to be among the first countries to recognize Catalonia as sovereign state.[50] Generally separatist movements or countries with such kind of problems sympathize, and in some ways, support each other. For example, the councilors in Dublin city hall voted to fly the Catalan flag in solidarity with separatists and against the repressions of Spanish government during the turmoil between the authorities in Barcelona and Madrid.[51] There were clashes between Sinn Fein (leader Gerry Adams calling for recognition) and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who said the Catalonian referendum was unconstitutional and his government would not recognize it.[52]

Public opinion in Kosovo during the Catalonian independence crisis is predominantly on the side of Catalans. The only obstacle for this to be expressed more loudly or officially is the stance of the EU and USA which is different and Pristina could not afford to contradict with it.  The official position of Kosovo is that it supports the territorial integrity of Spain.[53] Kosovo experts and public figures claim that both cases are different because Catalans have all democratic rights while the Albanians did not have any civil rights, including self-government, in Serbia.[54] 

According to the Spanish constitution (1978) there are unnamed “nationalities” and not “nations” in Spain. It states the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation.[55] During the Catalonian crisis in 2017 the central government in Madrid for the first time after the Franco era sent troops there and triggered article 155 of the Constitution for direct rule over the province. The mistake of the government in Madrid was that it used police force against separatists during the elections and in some other cases after that. This definitely made them more determined and radicalized. Leaders of the separatist movement were jailed and some of them fled from the country. The Catalan prime-minister Carles Puigdemont is in exile in Brussels. They have not given up and continue their struggle for an independent state. All of that shows that relations between the Spaniards and Catalans have worsened for years to come. 

There are intense relations and disagreement about the cultural heritage in both provinces. The situation is more problematic between Belgrade and Pristina mainly about the Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries. An additional problem is that some churches and Christian cemeteries were vandalized by extremists. For 20 years there has been an ownership dispute between Spanish provinces Catalonia and Aragon about the medieval treasures of Sijena convent. The order of the Spanish cultural minister the convent to be returned to Aragon led to clashes between protesters and police in front of the Lleida museum in Barcelona.[56] 

The Spanish and Serbian (Yugoslavian) governments have the law on their side, but it has different relevance in terms of realpolitik. One of the reasons for the successful Albanian separatism in Kosovo is the influence and place of Serbia in international architecture. The Catalan drama and Spain’s strength are just the opposite. Spain is a full member of NATO (1982), it is the fifth largest EU member state (since 1986) and a global cultural and economic powerhouse.

Global powers and Kosovo and Catalonia

One of the main goals of the pro-independence movements is the maximum attraction of international attention. Kosovo Albanians and Catalans try hard to internationalize their cases. Both groups use their own media channels and social media in the 21st Century in order to achieve that goal. In every crucial moment of their actions they have tried to gain sympathies for their cause. Currently there are 115 states that recognize Kosovo as an independent state but there was no single country in the world that recognized Catalonia’s independence after it was proclaimed by the Catalonian parliament.  Until 2008 Kosovo was administered by the United Nation. Nowadays it functions as some kind of international protectorate – there are NATO peacekeeping mission (KFOR) with around 5000 soldiers and EU rule-of-law monitoring (EULEX) which is presented in the key institutions of the country with their own judges, prosecutors, police officers which supervise the judiciary and police.

European Union

The attitude of the EU structures toward the European separatism and the nationalism connected to it, could be described as ambivalent.  A short review of the contemporary nationalistic parties and movements throughout Europe shows that. EU is extremely critical towards organizations which are Eurosceptic and work for more national sovereignty (France – National Front, Austria – Austrian Freedom Party, Hungary – Fidez, Poland – Law and Order etc.). At the same time it is very favorable towards openly nationalistic parties whose core value is self-determination, but which are pro-EU – Scottish National Party, Catalonian pro-independence organizations. So we could conclude that the European Union and its establishment have a basic problem with the definition and assessment of nationalism from a value point of view.

European Union has always encouraged the regionalism, all forms of diversity, cultural expressions and all kinds of minorities. It has preferred to weaken national states and to reduce their sovereignty. During the Catalan crisis Brussels found itself between one of the biggest member states (Spain) and its own principals. It chose Madrid instead of its principals and actually betrayed the Catalans who expect full support from the European institutions for their independence.

One of the main questions which appeared in public during the Catalan crisis was whether it could repeat for EU what was the Slovenia’s unilateral declaration of independence for Yugoslavia and its future as a Union.[57] The big fear of the EU is that Catalonian independence would “open the door” for the rest of the advanced separatist movements to claim the same for themselves (Flanders, Lombardy, Corsica, Basque country, South Tyrol).

The question about the secession of a region of an EU member state is whether it ceases to be a member of the Union, if it could become a member automatically or it should apply from the beginning and fulfill all the procedures for membership (economic and political criteria).

The other question that arose around the Catalonian crises is: could a small region become a functional independent state. For Kosovo case it is difficult to give a simple answer. Catalans and their supporters claim they are ready, their economy will be among the richest in the world and their size will be comparable to Denmark, Finland, and Switzerland.[58]

The European position toward the Kosovo pro-independence movement could be described as not favorable during the 1980-s and changing from the begging of 1990-s. In that period there were attempts Yugoslavia to be drawn into EU negotiation process and eventually to become a member of the Union. The circumstances were in favor of such a development – the country was closer economically to the West than the states of the so called East Block which were trapped behind the Iron curtain. The fast disintegration of the once biggest country and the wars between the republics changed the attitude. Major EU states (mainly Germany, France, UK) were in favor of Kosovo independence and its recognition as an independent state. The late 1990s and early 2000s were the years of the culmination of liberal interventionism. The Kosovo independence movement coincided with that prevailing paradigm and used it in maximum degree. It should be underlined that Spain is the leading anti-separatist country in EU with very harsh position toward Kosovo, which doesn’t recognize it in any form, and Catalonian independence.

Catalonian independence culminated in different political context of global changes and series of crisis within and around EU (recent Eurozone Debt crisis, continuing migrant crisis, rise of the Euroscepticism, Ukrainian crisis, Brexit, difficult relations with Russia, Turkey and USA). No single EU member state or government supported the declared Catalonian’s independence. European countries took the side of the government of Spain in its conflict with the Catalan separatist government. There were not favorable circumstances for Catalan’s independence in that historical moment.  The Catalonian crisis was also a big test for vitality of EU. There are persistent doubts in Washington, Moscow and Beijing that the Union has enough capacity to cope with such difficulties.[59]

USA

The role of the United States for Kosovo independence was crucial. Without the American military intervention in 1999 and its continued support, the independence of Kosovo would have hardly become a reality. There is still serious American presence in the province with the military base (Camp Bondsteel). There isn’t any significant military presence in Catalonia. Kosovo independence process is part of the historical moment with almost full global dominance of America.  It coincides with the rise of the American messianism and the apogee of liberal interventionism. Last, but not least, the war aimed to divert public attention from the “Monica Lewinsky” scandal that threatened US President Bill Clinton and was destroying his moral image.  

Catalonia is a different case in terms of global share of power and leadership. President Donald Trump had to take into account a number of factors - cool relations with the EU and London, Putin’s Russia, China's new role in the world. Washington could not afford to confront with Madrid not at least because the fast growing majority of Spanish speaking voters in the United State became decisive power for winning the presidential election or any seats in the Southern states.  During the common press conference with the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoj Trump announced that he opposes the Catalan secession and called it “foolish”.[60] After the referendum and declared independence the official position of the State Department was that Catalonia is an integral part of Spain and the United States support the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united.[61]

Russia

Russian Federation hasn’t recognized Kosovo as an independent country. Kremlin has a clear position against the NATO humanitarian intervention in 1999 when it stood against the operation and supported the territorial integrity of Serbia. Russia considered the war in Kosovo an aggressive war against a sovereign state which was not a NATO member or a threatened one.[62]  Kosovo war was a serious blow to Russia and its idea that it is a global power. It could not help its ally in that moment.  Moscow strongly disagree with the West (USA, EU) to grant Kosovo de jure sovereignty under the Ahtisaari plan. Russia insisted that the Kosovo issue will set a precedent with long-term consequences for the world.[63]  When Kosovo announced its independence, the Russian government proclaimed it as a unilateral violation of major international rules, agreements and organizations principals, mainly of UN’s.[64]

During the Catalonian crisis the Russian Federation had a consistent position that everything that happens is an internal Spanish matter and it supports the dialogue in the framework of Spanish constitution.[65] There was a scandal between Madrid and Moscow after the referendum. Spanish ministers of foreign affairs and defense accused the Russian side of interfering by hackers in the process through Twitter, Facebook and other Internet sites to influence public opinion in favor of separatist cause.[66] Russian authorities denied the accusations and said they had no interest in weakening Spain.[67]  Catalonia’s separatist leaders also have denied that any foreign interference helped them in the vote.

China

Chinese attitude to both cases is very similar to the Russian one. Their argument is that every country has a sovereign right to decide alone its internal matters. During the Kosovo war the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was directly hit by a bomb and senior diplomats died. Beijing saw the war as an act of aggression without the approval of the Security Council of UN. China kept close eye on the situation and learned that information and technology with the advanced weapons would be the warfare of the future.[68] China doesn’t not recognize Kosovo as independent country and expressed concern about declared independence in Pristina.[69]

Chinese authorities supported the Spanish government during the Catalonian crisis.[70] They made parallels between Catalonian and Tibetan cases and did not want anybody to interfere in their domestic affairs. Beijing tend to oppose secessionist movements around the world since the country itself has problems with different minority and pro-independence groups in different regions. Last but not least, Chinese investments in Spain increased considerably in 2017.[71]

Conclusion

The comparison between Kosovo and Catalonia cases in terms of their pro-independence movements shows that there are a lot of similarities but the differences prevail. The aim is the same, but the used methods, economic and social potential, main political actors who are involved (regionally and globally), international realities are quite opposite. Catalans have never used force, underground methods and organized violence in their struggle for independence. The economy is a vital part of the Catalan separatism while in Kosovo it was not. The big difference is the contrasting historic international and regional context, including the influence of the affected countries (Spain and Serbia). It is not insignificant that in Catalonia all people live mixed together while Albanians and Serbians are even physically separated. Kosovo remains potentially explosive and ethnically divided. The assassination of one of the leaders of Kosovo Serbs Oliver Ivanovic showed how fragile is the balance in the province almost twenty years after the war and ten years after the declared independence. The big question for Spain and EU is whether the Catalan crisis has an inflammatory potential to repeat the brutal Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and how the independence process is going to continue in the forthcoming years. Although a lot of authors make parallels between what is going on in Catalonia and the Balkans, the prevailing opinion is that Catalonia would not go in that direction. Nevertheless, Kosovo is a living example and warning for a dangerous independence scenario with a lot of violence and unsolved problems.

 

Bibliography:

 

Monographs

 

James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army. Underground war to Balkan insurgency, Hurst & Company, London, 2013

Ivor Roberts, Conversations with Milošević, University of Georgia Press, Athens, USA, 2016

Jean Grugel and Tim Rees, Franco’s Spain, Arnold Publishing, London, 1997

Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia. Death of a nation, Penguin Books, USA, 1997

Robert D. Kaplan, The Revenge of geography, Random House, New York, 2012

Зорица Вулић, Ко jе оваj човек?, Глас Jавности, Београд, 2000

Душан Пророковић, Геополитика Србије. Положај и перспективе на почетку 21. века, друго измењено и скраћено издање, Службени гласник, Београд, 2015

Калоян Методиев, Западните Балкани и България, Българско геополитическо дружество, София, 2016

 

Academic journals

 

Josep R. Llobera, “Aspects of Catalan kinship, identity, and nationalism, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, 28(3), 1997

 

Collection of papers

 

Andreu Domingo, “Catalonia, land of immigration”, in : Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

Elisenda Paluzie, “Premeditated asphyxia”, in: Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

Germa Bel, “Strangers in our own land”, in: Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

Joan Canadell, “The Catalan business model”, in: Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

Laura Borras, “Non-nationalist independentism”, in : Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

Milica Z. Bookman, “The Economics of Secession”, in: Separatism, Rowman & Littlefield  Publishers, USA, 1998

Nuria Bosch, “The viability of Catalonia as a state”, in: Liz Castro (ed), prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), What’s up with Catalonia?, Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

 

Daily Newspapers and Journals

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Angus Berwick, “Catalan valley wants its own independence”, Irish Independent, 10.10.2017

Catalonia’s economy, How the Catalan territory compares to other Spanish regions, Irish Independent, 10.10.2017

Dan O’Brien, “Similarities with Spain abound, but their wounds go far deeper”, Irish Independent, 5.10.2017

Hannah Strange, “Catalonia is braced for violence over treasures, Irish Independent 12.12.2017

Isabelle Fraser, “Cryptocurrency could help Catalans go it alone if they want to realise their dream, Irish Independent, 31.10.2017(published originally in Daily Telegraph, 31.10.2017)

James Badcock, “We will never be silenced again, Irish Independent, 9.10.2017

Mark Almond, “Spain could turn into next bloody Balkans, Daily Mail, 28.10.2017

Michael Stothard, “Catalonia’s breakaway leader”, Financial Times, 14-15.10.2017

Robert Fox, “In the Catalan crisis all sides see a hole and keep digging, Evening Standard, 26.10.2017

Rayan Nugent, “Dublin councilors vote to fly Catalan flag at City Hall”, Irish Independent, 3.11.2017

Robert Hardman, “Is Spain heading for a new civil war?”, Daily Mail, 7.10.2017

Roger Bootle, “If Catalonia left Spain, it would be like London leaving the UK”, Daily Telegraph, 8.10.2017

Roy Foster, “Catalonia and Spain can learn so much from Irish history, Evening Standard, 9.10.2017

Toni Barber, “Catalonia risks opening a European Pandora’s box”, Financial Times, 7-8.10.2017

 

Documents

International Religious Freedom Report for 2015, United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor,

https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/index.htm

Constitution of the Republic of Serbia (2006)

Spanish constitution (1978)

Organic Act 6/2006 of the 19th July, on the Reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, Consolidated; Full text of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia approved on 19 July 2006, https://web.gencat.cat/en/generalitat/estatut/estatut2006/;

Statistical Yearbook of Catalonia, http://www.idescat.cat/

 

Internet Sourses

Anne Gearan, Trump says U.S. opposes independence bid in Spain’s Catalonia region, 26.09.2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/26/trump-says-u-s-opposes-independence-bid-in-spains-catalonia-region/?utm_term=.ee12a0857f3b

Berna González Harbour, One example of how Catalan separatists manipulate history, El Pais,  12.12. 2017, https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/12/12/inenglish/1513089302_396064.html

Charlotte Gao, China Backs Spanish Government Amid Catalonia Crisis, 31.10.2017, https://thediplomat.com/2017/10/china-backs-spanish-government-amid-catalonia-crisis/

Erjon Muharremaj, ANALIZË/ Kosova, Katalonja, fantazma jugosllave dhe e drejta ndërkombëtare, 4.10.2017, http://www.albeu.com/kosove/analize-kosova-katalonja-fantazma-jugosllave-dhe-e-drejta-nderkombetare/337908/)

Gaspar Pericay Coll, Catalan nationalist parties react to the international recognition of Kosovo's independence, Catalan News, 24.07.2010, http://www.catalannews.com/politics/item/catalan-nationalist-parties-react-to-the-international-recognition-of-kosovos-independence

Harriet Alexander, James Badcock, Why does Catalonia want independence from Spain?,  10.10.2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/does-catalonia-want-independence-spain/

Henry Miller & Kate Miller, Language Policy and Identity: the case of Catalonia, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 6:1, 1996, https://doi.org/10.1080/0962021960060106

Hivzi Islami, Studime demografike, Prishtinë, 2008, p. 202.; Data from the 2011 Population Census: http://pop-stat.mashke.org/kosovo-ethnic2011.htm

Kosova, vendi më mbështetës në botë ndaj SHBA-ve, 28.05.2016, https://www.evropaelire.org/a/27759314.html

Ian Mount, Fight over medieval artworks reopens Catalonian rift with Spain, Financial Times, 6.01.2017,  https://www.ft.com/content/1d8880e4-d1a9-11e6-b06b-680c49b4b4c0

Interview of Albatrit Matoshi, Katalonja shpall pavarësinë, presin njohje nga Kosova, 4.10.2017, http://zeri.info/aktuale/165215/katalonja-shpall-pavaresine-presin-njohje-nga-kosova

Interview with the president Hashim Thaci for Kosovo National TV, Thaçi: Kosova nuk krahasohet me Kataloninë, 2.10.2017, http://zeri.info/aktuale/165005/thaci-katalonia-nuk-eshte-kosove/

Lindsay Beck, China "deeply concerned" over Kosovo independence, 18.02.2008, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kosovo-serbia-china/china-deeply-concerned-over-kosovo-independence-idUSTP34030820080218

Lu Hui, China supports Spanish unity amid Catalan independence declaration, Xinhua, 30.10.2017, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-10/30/c_136715310.htm

"MEPs: Oriol Junqueras Vies", European Parliament official website, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/96708/ORIOL_JUNQUERAS+VIES_home.html

Milan Andrejevich,  Hashim Thaçi, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hashim-Thaci

Neli Esipova and Julie Ray, Syrian Refugees Not Welcome in Eastern Europe, Gallup world poll 2016, http://news.gallup.com/poll/209828/syrian-refugees-not-welcome-eastern-europe.aspx

Oksana Antonenko, Russia and the Deadlock over Kosovo, N 21, Russia/NIS Center, Paris, 2007, https://www.ifri.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/ifri_kosovo_antonenko_ang_july2007.pdf

On U.S. Support for Spanish Unity, Press Statement by Heather Nauert Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, 27.10.2017, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/10/275136.htm

Robin Emmott, Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote, 13.11.2017, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-russia/spain-sees-russian-interference-in-catalonia-separatist-vote-idUSKBN1DD20Y

Tobias Buck, Demographic shift, not politics, will settle the Catalan debate, Financial Times, 1.10.2015, https://www.ft.com/content/076144d0-6824-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5

Yoshiaki Sakaguchi and Katsuhiko Mayama, Significance of the War in Kosovo for China and Russia, National Institute for Defense Studies, Japan Ministry of Defense, Security Reports, No. 3 (March 2002), http://www.nids.mod.go.jp/english/publication/kiyo/pdf/bulletin_e2001_1.pdf

Брифинг официального представителя МИД России М.В.Захаровой, Москва, 16.11.2017, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2952891#9

Заявление МИД России по Косово, 17.02.2008, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/foreign_policy/international_safety/conflicts/-/asset_publisher/xIEMTQ3OvzcA/content/id/348618

Заявление МИД России по ситуации в Автономном сообществе Каталония (Испания), 11.10.2017, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/maps/es/-/asset_publisher/qqAftQ2HgNEM/content/id/2895398

 

* Institute for strategies and analysis, political scientist

 

 

[1] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army. Underground war to Balkan insurgency, Hurst & Company, London, 2013, p. 15

[2] Hivzi Islami, Studime demografike, Prishtinë, 2008, p. 202.; Data from the 2011 Population Census: http://pop-stat.mashke.org/kosovo-ethnic2011.htm ; The actual number of Serbs in 2011 is much larger. This discrepancy is due to the massive refusal of the Serbs from the four northern municipalities to participate in the census, as well as the partial refusal in the other Serbian municipalities. It is estimated by various Albanian researchers that 60,000 Serbs live in northern municipalities, and 40,000 in other parts of Kosovo. This means that around 100,000 Serbs live in Kosovo in total.

[3] Statistical Yearbook of Catalonia, https://www.idescat.cat/pub/?id=aec&n=245&lang=en

[4] Statistical Yearbook of Catalonia, http://www.idescat.cat/pub/?id=aec&n=257&lang=en&t=2011

[5] Angus Berwick, Catalan valley wants its own independence, Irish Independent, 10.10.2017, p. 28

[6] Andreu Domingo, Catalonia, land of immigration, p. 40, in : What’s up with Catalonia?, edited by Liz Castro and prologue by Artur Mas (president of Catalonia), Catalonia Press, Ashfield, USA, 2013

[7] Tobias Buck, Demographic shift, not politics, will settle the Catalan debate, Financial Times, 1.10.2015, https://www.ft.com/content/076144d0-6824-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5

[8] Robert D. Kaplan, The Revenge of geography, Random House, New York, 2012, p. 7

[9] Henry Miller & Kate Miller, Language Policy and Identity: the case of Catalonia, International Studies in Sociology of Education, 6:1, 1996, p. 113, https://doi.org/10.1080/0962021960060106

[10] Tobias Buck, Demographic shift, not politics, will settle the Catalan debate, Financial Times, 1.10.2015, https://www.ft.com/content/076144d0-6824-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5    

[11] Josep R. Llobera, Aspects of Catalan kinship, identity, and nationalism, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, 28(3), 1997, p.299

[12] International Religious Freedom Report for 2015, United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, p.4,7

[13] Neli Esipova and Julie Ray, Syrian Refugees Not Welcome in Eastern Europe, Gallup world poll 2016, http://news.gallup.com/poll/209828/syrian-refugees-not-welcome-eastern-europe.aspx

[14] Душан Пророковић, Геополитика Србије. Положај и перспективе на почетку 21. века, друго измењено и скраћено издање, Службени гласник, Београд, 2015, с. 381

[15] Visit of Milosevic to Kosovo (24.04.1987); Laura Silber and Allan Little, Yugoslavia. Death of a nation, Penguin Books, USA, 1997, p. 37

[16] Jean Grugel and Tim Rees, Franco’s Spain, Arnold Publishing, London, 1997, p. 25

[17] Organic Act 6/2006 of the 19th July, on the Reform of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, Consolidated;

Full text of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia approved on 19 July 2006, Preliminary Title Article 1. Catalonia, Government of Catalonia, https://web.gencat.cat/en/generalitat/estatut/estatut2006/;

[18] Robert Fox, In the Catalan crisis all sides see a hole and keep digging, Evening Standard, 26.10.2017

[19] Mark Almond, Spain could turn into next bloody Balkans, Daily Mail, 28.10.2017, p. 6-7

[20] Jean Grugel and Tim Rees, Franco’s Spain, Arnold Publishing, London, 1997, p. 68

[21] His name is Musa Hoti, member of the leftist groupshule. See: James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army. Underground war to Balkan insurgency, Hurst & Company, London, 2013, p. 49

[22] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army., p. 37, 42-43, 45, 47

[23] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army., p. 261-264

[24] Kosova, vendi më mbështetës në botë ndaj SHBA-ve, 28.05.2016, https://www.evropaelire.org/a/27759314.html

[25] Laura Borras, Non-nationalist independentism, in: What’s up with Catalonia?, p. 143-146

[26] Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia)  Catalunya Sí (Catalonia Yes), Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (Popular Unity Candidacy).

[27] After the war. Kosovo. The Economist, vol. 426, N 9074, January 13th-19th 2018, p. 29

[28] Душан Пророковић, Геополитика Србије. Положај и перспективе на почетку 21. века, друго измењено и скраћено издање, Службени гласник, Београд, 2015, с. 379

[29] Catalonia’s economy, How the Catalan territory compares to other Spanish regions, Irish Independent, 10.10.2017, p. 28

[30] Harriet Alexander, James Badcock, Why does Catalonia want independence from Spain?,  10.10.2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/does-catalonia-want-independence-spain/

[31] Joan Canadell, The Catalan business model, in : What’s up with Catalonia?, p. 199

[32] Milica Z. Bookman, The Economics of Secession, In: Separatism, Rowman & Littlefield  Publishers, USA, 1998, p. 70

[33] Nuria Bosch, The viability of Catalonia as a state, in : What’s up with Catalonia, p. 190

[34] Elisenda Paluzie, Premeditated asphyxia, p. 30; Germa Bel, Strangers in our own land, p. 131, in : What’s up with Catalonia?,

[35] Isabelle Fraser, Cryptocurrency could help Catalans go it alone if they want to realise their dream, Irish Independent, 31.10.2017, p.21 (published originally in Daily Telegraph, 31.10.2017)

[36] Калоян Методиев, Западните Балкани и България, Българско геополитическо дружество, София, 2016, с. 52

[37] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army, p.55

[38] Калоян Методиев, Западните Балкани и България, с. 52

[39] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army, p.50

[40] "MEPs: Oriol Junqueras Vies", European Parliament official website, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/96708/ORIOL_JUNQUERAS+VIES_home.html

[41] Зорица Вулић, Ко jе оваj човек?, Глас Jавности, Београд, 2000, с. 204-205

[42] Milan Andrejevich,  Hashim Thaçi, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hashim-Thaci

[43]  Ivor Roberts, Conversations with Milošević, University of Georgia Press, Athens, USA, 2016, p.123; Laura Silber, Allan Little, Yugoslavia. Death of a nation. p.73

[44] Michael Stothard, Catalonia’s breakaway leader, Financial Times, 14-15.10.2017, p. 11

[45] James Pettifer, The Kosovo Liberation Army, p.53

[46] Constitution of The Republic of Serbia (2006), Articles 114 and 182

[47] Ivanovic was killed in front of the office of his party in Kosovska Mitrovica (16.1.2018)

[48] James Badcock, We will never be silenced again, Irish Independent, 9.10.2017, p. 10

[49] Gaspar Pericay Coll, Catalan nationalist parties react to the international recognition of Kosovo's independence, Catalan News, 24.07.2010, http://www.catalannews.com/politics/item/catalan-nationalist-parties-react-to-the-international-recognition-of-kosovos-independence

[50] Interview of Albatrit Matoshi, Katalonja shpall pavarësinë, presin njohje nga Kosova, 4.10.2017, http://zeri.info/aktuale/165215/katalonja-shpall-pavaresine-presin-njohje-nga-kosova

[51] Rayan Nugent, Dublin councilors vote to fly Catalan flag at City Hall, Irish Independent, 3.11.2017, p.20

[52] Roy Foster, Catalonia and Spain can learn so much from Irish history, Evening Standard, 9.10.2017, p. 17

[53] Interview with the president Hashim Thaci for Kosovo National TV, Thaçi: Kosova nuk krahasohet me Kataloninë, 2.10.2017, http://zeri.info/aktuale/165005/thaci-katalonia-nuk-eshte-kosove/

[54] Erjon Muharremaj, ANALIZË/ Kosova, Katalonja, fantazma jugosllave dhe e drejta ndërkombëtare, 4.10.2017, http://www.albeu.com/kosove/analize-kosova-katalonja-fantazma-jugosllave-dhe-e-drejta-nderkombetare/337908/)

[55] Spanish constitution (1978), Preliminary Part, Section 2

[56] Ian Mount, Fight over medieval artworks reopens Catalonian rift with Spain, Financial Times, 6.01.2017,  https://www.ft.com/content/1d8880e4-d1a9-11e6-b06b-680c49b4b4c0  ; Hannah Strange, Catalonia is braced for violence over treasures, Irish Independant 12.12.2017; Berna González Harbour, One example of how Catalan separatists manipulate history, El Pais,  12.12. 2017, https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/12/12/inenglish/1513089302_396064.html

[57] Dan O’Brien, Similarities with Spain abound, but their wounds go far deeper, Irish Independent, 5.10.2017, p.27

[58] Roger Bootle, If Catalonia left Spain, it would be like London leaving the UK, Daily Telegraph, 8.10.2017; Robert Hardman, Is Spain heading for a new civil war?, Daily Mail, 7.10.2017, p.18-19

[59] Toni Barber, Catalonia risks opening a European Pandora’s box, Financial Times, 7-8.10.2017

[60] Anne Gearan, Trump says U.S. opposes independence bid in Spain’s Catalonia region, 26.09.2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/26/trump-says-u-s-opposes-independence-bid-in-spains-catalonia-region/?utm_term=.ee12a0857f3b

[61] On U.S. Support for Spanish Unity, Press Statement by Heather Nauert Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, 27.10.2017, https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/10/275136.htm

[62] Yoshiaki Sakaguchi and Katsuhiko Mayama, Significance of the War in Kosovo for China and Russia, NIDS Security Reports, No. 3 (March 2002), p. 1

[63] Oksana Antonenko, Russia and the Deadlock over Kosovo, N 21, Russia/NIS Center, Paris, 2007

[64] Заявление МИД России по Косово, 17.02.2008, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/foreign_policy/international_safety/conflicts/-/asset_publisher/xIEMTQ3OvzcA/content/id/348618

[65] Заявление МИД России по ситуации в Автономном сообществе Каталония (Испания), 11.10.2017, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/maps/es/-/asset_publisher/qqAftQ2HgNEM/content/id/2895398

[66] Robin Emmott, Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote, 13.11.2017, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-russia/spain-sees-russian-interference-in-catalonia-separatist-vote-idUSKBN1DD20Y

[67] Брифинг официального представителя МИД России М.В.Захаровой, Москва, 16.11.2017, http://www.mid.ru/web/guest/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2952891#9

[68] Yoshiaki Sakaguchi and Katsuhiko Mayama, Significance of the War in Kosovo for China and Russia, NIDS Security Reports, No. 3 (March 2002), p. 6

[69] Lindsay Beck, China "deeply concerned" over Kosovo independence, 18.02.2008, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kosovo-serbia-china/china-deeply-concerned-over-kosovo-independence-idUSTP34030820080218

[70] Lu Hui, China supports Spanish unity amid Catalan independence declaration, Xinhua, 30.10.2017, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-10/30/c_136715310.htm

[71] Charlotte Gao, China Backs Spanish Government Amid Catalonia Crisis, 31.10.2017, https://thediplomat.com/2017/10/china-backs-spanish-government-amid-catalonia-crisis/