The Right to Self-Determination in 2016

Most modern states have appeared on the world map due to the right to self-determination. However, the use of this principle faces serious obstacles and the evidence of this is unrecognized states. In 2016 several developments in the direction of realizing the right to self-determination were recorded.

So, in 2016, Barcelona continued to take steps towards independence from Spain. The Parliament of Catalonia approved the holding of a referendum on independence from Spain. It is expected that a plebiscite will be held next year. It should be noted that in 2014 Catalonia has already held a referendum on the issue, despite the fact that Madrid did not support it. At the informal plebiscite then 80 percent of Catalans supported the secession from Spain. Madrid announced the vote illegal. Now Madrid threatens to deprive Catalonia from autonomy, if Barcelona does not stop trying to achieve independence.

After the Brexit, debates over the right of self-determination have intensified also in the UK. Thus, “Sinn Fein” the largest nationalist party of the Northern Ireland said that the output of Great Britain from the European Union will be the basis for the referendum and the reunification of Ireland. After Brexit, question of independence from London again became topical in the agenda in Scotland. It should be noted, that in autumn of 2014  Scotland held a referendum on independence and more than 55 percent were in favor to remain a part of the UK. Now the head of the government of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said that her country would use every opportunity to remain a member of the European Union. The Scottish Government has already announced the start of public debate on the issue of independence from London.

After winning the presidential elections in the United States, Donald Trump, California and Texas also claimed their desire to become independent from Washington. Members of the movement “Yes California”, which advocates for the separation of the State of California from the United States, presented a proposal for a referendum in the state attorney general’s office. The document specifically provides for a referendum in 2019.

Texas separatists are also hoping for a peaceful referendum on the output of the state from the United States. In an exclusive interview with RT Nathan Smith, the leader of Texas Nationalist Movement noted that a vote for the independence of the state could take place in 2017, after the relevant law will be adopted in the legislative council of Texas.

Thus, the number of nations fighting for independence and self-determination in 2017 has a tendency to increase.