Catalan nationalist parties react to the international recognition of Kosovo's independence

Despite the International Court of Justice's decision, the Spanish Government decided not to recognise Kosovo as an independent state. Both the Spanish Government and Catalan nationalists see implicit parallelisms in both cases, although Madrid denies it.

A girl with Kosovo's flag
A girl with Kosovo's flag / CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

July 24, 2010 12:35 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- The Spanish Government continues to not recognise Kosovo’s independence, despite yesterday’s decision of the International Court of Justice that officially recognised its right to self-determination and its independence. The Spanish Vice President, María Teresa Fernández De la Vega, has stated that Spain does not recognise Kosovo’s independence and has denied any possible comparison of Kosovo’s case with those of Catalonia and the Basque Country. However, insisting on not recognising Kosovo stresses the implicit parallelism that the Spanish Government fears. Besides, Catalan nationalist parties do see a clear parallelism between both cases.

The Spanish Government has based its decision on two main reasons: the UN Security Council Decision and the several agreements signed to end the Balkan wars in the 1990s. In addition, the Government gives a third argument: dialogue between both parts is the only solution, as Serbia protected by Russia continues not to recognise its former territory’s independence.

However, there is a veiled debate regarding this issue. The Spanish Government wants to cut any kind of comparison between Kosovo’s right for self-determination and its independence with the possibility for the Basque Country’ people or Catalonia’s to claim this right, which is recognised by the United Nations. For this reason, the Spanish Vice President has insisted that Kosovo is a complete different case, not comparable to that of the Basque Country or Catalonia. However, despite being different cases, according to De la Vega, and yesterday’s decision of the International Court of Justice, Spain does not recognise Kosovo’s independence. Most of the Western states have recognised Kosovo as an independent state, many just after its self-declared independence, in February 2008. The Spanish Government has insisted that its policy will not change and remains the same as it started two and a half years ago.

Besides, Catalan nationalist parties insist that Kosovo’s case shows that Catalonia’s right for self-determination is legal. Catalan nationalists are claiming this right and the Spanish Government insists in not recognising it and denying any possible comparison. The President of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), Joan Puigcercós, has stated that yesterday’s decision shows that Catalonia’s independence could be legal and recognised at an international level. The Catalan Liberal and Nationalist Party (CDC), which is the main party of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist coalition (CiU), has asked the Spanish Government to recognise Kosovo’s independence and the right of self-determination of the people, which is recognised by the United Nations.