Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

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Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

I don’t hate the topic as much as I hate the phrasing. Framing it this way asks the question of how we determine what the government of Spain should do, which is a completely different question from whether or not Catalonia should be independent. Rather than tackling interesting questions about autonomy and sovereignty, we are now instead forced to examine the specific benefits and harms to one particular European nation. Ugh.

Definitions

Nothing in this topic really needs to be defined in detail; it’s pretty straightforward. Spain is a country in Europe. Catalonia is part of Spain, namely an autonomous “nationality” within Spain. Independence means being your own sovereign nation.

As mentioned above, though, the important thing to note is you have to address how we determine what Spain should do, not whether or not Catalonia should be independent. There’s a big difference, and students are certainly going to get this confused.

Case Positions

Pro

1. Economics – Contrary to some arguments out there, it may actually be in Spain’s economic interest to let Catalonia go. While the national government does collect taxes, it also spends a significant amount of money for the nationality, and directs a lot of EU funds toward it. It’s possible that without Catalonia, Spain would be in better shape economically. It would also add another nation to the EU, presumably, which could help further bolster the region’s economy. Not to mention, all the efforts Spain has put into suppressing the independence movement are leading many to question Spain’s democratic credentials, so to speak.

2. Democracy! – Spain is ostensibly a Democratic nation, which should ostensibly be governed by the will of the people. It seems pretty clear that the majority of Catalonia wants independence. If that’s the case, then democratic principles dictate they should have it.

Con

1. Economics – This argument can also be made on the Con. Spain certainly collects a lot of taxes from Catalonia, as Catalonia is quite wealthy. To lose all that income may be catastrophic to an already struggling economy. The costs of keeping Catalonia around are worth it.

2. Stability of Europe – With Brexit already having happened, the stability of Europe, and the EU in particular, is already on shaky ground. Granting Catalonia independence could create a substantial destabilization not only by increasing the economic burden of the EU, but also by setting a precedent which may spur other independence movements.

Hope that helps get you started. Good luck!

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