Analysis 30 Oct 17

Restive Provinces Replace Communism as ‘Spectre Haunting Europe’

As the standoff between Spain and Catalonia continues, Balkan Insight looks at the many other provinces and regions in the Balkans and elsewhere that are challenging the integrity of Europe’s current states.

Marcus Tanner
BIRN
London
Activists march waving Catalan and Spanish flags during a mass rally against Catalonia's declaration of independence, in Barcelona on October 29. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Karl Marx famously wrote in the Communist Manifesto that Europe was “haunted by a spectre – the spectre of communism”.

Today, the spectres haunting Europe are harder to identify, but include economic stagnation, migration, Islamist terrorism and – last but not least – separatist provinces and regions.

Some of these have a history of violent struggle while others do not.

However, they all pose varying degrees of threat to established states and pose a dilemma to the European Union, as it strives to balance upholding current borders with people’s rights to self-determination.

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