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In Spain, the government of the autonomous region of Catalonia is now demanding sovereignty, too.Spain is a stable democracy and a member of the European Union, the eurozone and NATO. For decades now, it has maintained the rule of law in accordance with a democratic constitution that was negotiated by all parties and regions, including Catalonia.Were Catalonia actually to achieve independence, it would have to find a way forward without Spain or the EU. Spain, with the support of many other member states that worry about their own secessionist movements, would block any Catalan bid for EU or eurozone membership.More to the point, the EU cannot countenance the disintegration of member states, because these states comprise the very foundation upon which it rests.The EU is an association of nation states, not regions. Although regions can play an important role within the EU, they cannot stand in as an alternative to member states. If Catalonia were to set a precedent of secession, encouraging other regions to follow suit, the EU would be thrown into a deep, existential crisis. Incidentally, the same could be said for Catalonia, which after all owes most of its economic success to Spain's accession to the EU in 1986 .
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