Putney Debates 2021: The Unity of Spain

Spain has suffered in the last two decades a very high separation tension. In this lecture, professor Roberto Galán-Vioque explains what happened in Catalonia in 2017, where an attempted referendum was held, the approval in 2005 by the Parliament of the Basque Country of an unconstitutional bill to call unilaterally for a referendum, and in 2006 the Second Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia by the Spanish Parliament as an attempt to prevent these separatist movements that was annulled by the Constitutional Court.

He argues that the separatist tensions in Spain have been aggravated by the existence of an insufficient, discriminatory and inadequate system of financing of the regions, by the partisan use of the idea of the unity of Spain both by the independence parties and by the so-called constitutionalist parties, and by a quite intransigent position of the Constitutional Court that has rejected the possibility of a self-determination referendum, going further what the Constitution itself establishes. It is an extremely complex situation that requires recovering the spirit of the political transition in order to undertake a necessary constitutional reform.

Roberto Galán-Vioque

Roberto Galán-Vioque

Roberto Galán-Vioque is Professor in Administrative Law of the University of Seville. He has been an international consultant in the European Union’s Democratic Municipalities Program in Guatemala (2006) and member of the Cabinet of the Presidency of the Government of Spain from 2007 to 2008. Currently, he is Vicesecretary General of Seville University. He has published eight books and more than 80 articles and book chapters in national and international Reviews and editorials. Professor Galán-Vioqu has carried out research stays at the Vermont Law School in the United States (2016), at the Institut für Berg- und Energierecht de la Ruhr üniversität Bochum (2015), at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the Republic Federal of Germany (2001), at the Université de Paris I, Phanthéon-Sorbonne in France (1996) and at the Institut fúr öffentliches Recht de la Rheinisiche Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität in Bonn (1995).

Share this video

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


Constitution; Spain, Putney Debates 2021; separatist movements