Clara Ponsati | Self-Determination in the EU: The Catalan Challenge

Clara Ponsati | Self-Determination in the EU: The Catalan Challenge

Thursday, November 2, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Encina Hall 2nd floor, William J. Perry Conference Room

  • Professor Clara Ponsatí, Member of the European Parliament
Clara Ponsatí

Six years after the people of Catalonia exercised their right to self-determination, the Catalan challenge still keeps the Spanish institutions in a gridlock, posing a major challenge to the democratic principles of the European Union.

It has been six years since the people of Catalonia exercised their right to self-determination in a referendum of independence, despite Spain’s attempt at stopping it with riot police. Spain has so far blocked the implementation of the democratic decision of Catalans by means of a combination of human rights abuse and political manipulation, and thanks to the complicit approval of the EU institutions. Nevertheless, Catalan self-determination remains the main hurdle that chokes Spanish institutions, and hence poses a major challenge to the democratic principles and practices of the European Union. I will provide background and review the recent political developments and possible future developments of the Catalan case, contextualizing it in the discussions regarding the principle and practices of self-determination. 

Clara Ponsatí is a Member of the European Parliament since February 2020, where she serves in the Industry Technology Reserach and Energy and Economics and Monetary Affairs Committees. From July 2017 until November 2017 she served as Minister of Education in the Catalan Government under President Carles Puigdemont. Prior to entering politics, Ponsatí was an economics professor. She was Chair of Economics at the School of Economics and Finance at the University of St Andrews, where she served as head of the school from 2015 to 2017. Before joining St Andrews she was Research Professor at the Institute for Economic Analysis (CSIC) where she served as director from 2006 to 2012. 

Previously, Ponsatí taught at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She has had visiting appointments at Georgetown University, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Toronto. Professor Ponsatí is a specialist in Game Theory and Public Economics, with interest in negotiations, bargaining, and voting. She has worked extensively on strategy, collective decisions, taxes and redistribution, with a distinguished publication record. She has worked on fiscal federalism and has advised the Catalan government on budgetary and tax affairs. Her research explores the links between group formation and majoritarian institutions, to understand the causes and effects of meritocracy and egalitarianism in the performance and stability of democratic organizations.

*If you need any disability-related accommodation, please contact Shannon Johnson at Requests should be made by October 26, 2023.

Organized by Professor Joan Ramon Resina, Director of the Iberian Studies Program at The Europe Center.