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To revive the ailing European project, the ugly conflict between Catalonia's regional government and the Spanish state may be just what the doctor ordered. A constitutional crisis in a major European Union member state creates a golden opportunity to reconfigure the democratic governance of regional, national and European institutions, thereby delivering a defensible, and thus sustainable, EU.Would it have erupted the way it recently did had Europe not mishandled the eurozone crisis since 2010, imposing quasi-permanent stagnation on Spain and the rest of the European periphery while setting the stage for xenophobia and moral panic when refugees began crossing Europe's external borders?Among Colau's commitments to the people of Barcelona was a local tax cut for small businesses and households, assistance to the poor and the construction of housing for 15,000 refugees – a large share of the total number that Spain was meant to absorb from front-line states like Greece and Italy.The duty of progressive Europeans is to reject both: the deep establishment at the EU level and the competing nationalisms ravaging solidarity and common sense in member states like Spain.Instead of impeding local and regional democratic governance, the EU should be fostering it.
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