A seminar entitled “A New Era of Fragmentation in the European Union” took place on 3 November 2017 in Bratislava. The speakers included: Prof. Jozef Bátora, Department of Political Science at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Mirek Tóda, editor and reporter from Dennik N and in-house GLOBSEC senior research fellow dr. Kinga Brudzińska. The discussion was moderated by dr. Vladislava Gubalova, research fellow at GLOBSEC.
The European Union is and will be a project based on membership of states. Therefore, despite the growing importance of regions or megacities, we should not expect them to replace the basic political entity: which is the state. If the member states would eventually become regions in the EU, then we would be speaking of the United States of Europe—a scenario which does not seem to be feasible in the near future. These are some of the observations shared by the participants in the seminar. They also talked about the recent challenges to territorial integrity in Spain and its implications for the European Union. Even though there was a consensus about the state of play in Catalonia, the participants did not agree on what could be a potential avenue for the region to gain independence from Spain. While one group saw possibility in the legal and consensual separation (according to the Spanish Constitution from 1978), the other group doubted if any country in the world would agree for one of its regions to leave the union. Therefore, a unilateral process could be eventually unavoidable.