Ewans and Reniu discuss challenges for EU multilevel governance

News / 15.7.13

Josep Maria Reniu, Director of the Political Science Studies at the Universitat of Barcelona (UB) and Director of the Observatory of Coalition Governments (OGC) and Huw Evans Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and expert on Welsh Law and Devolution discuss challneges ahead for EU multilevel governance.

They focus their discussion on the role of the regions in Europe, how devolution from central to sub-central governements impacts the current institutional architecture of the European Union (specially in the case of wales and Catalonia) and how Europe should react to the referenda of independence in Scotland and Catalonia in 2014.

“Constitutions  should help resolve problems not to create them” claims Reniu when looking at the way societies deal with diversity, devolution and institutional changes that may be needed after the above mentioned referenda.

“The treaties are silent of the issue [of newly independent states emanating form an existing EU members state] Evans underlines. “To argue that those would be ouside the EU is a simplistic argument […] and is in contradiction with Article 2 of the Treaties of the European Union” which reads that t he Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Evans argues that Member state citizens are given European citizenship so there is an issue of indivual rights in play. For him “To suggest  that European citizens would loose their rights as European citizens flies in the face of the whole ethos of the EU”

He also claims that in practical terms there would be a period between a potential Yes-vote in the referenda and the actual independence.  A period to negotiate the terms of that independence where Eu membership should be also  adressed: “During that period one would expect there would be paralel negotiations with the EU as far as continued contiued membership is concerned […] “so independent states become actually independent the same day they become a new EU member state”

This debate was recorded last 18 June 2013 in the European Parliament (Burssels).

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