Nov 07, 2014

Conference Report: The Right to Decide in the 21st Century - Scotland, Catalonia and Beyond

Over the past few months, with the recent referendum on Scottish independence held on 18 September 2014, the right to decide has proliferated across media outlets and energized political debates. This Sunday, 9 November 2014, Catalans will be participating in a symbolic independence referendum with unclear consequences. To promote continued dialogue on the right to decide, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is publishing its new conference report with interventions from an assorted panel of academic experts, politicians, policy makers and civil society gave an overview of the legal and political debates, case studies, as well as key future challenges and opportunities related to the right to decide.

In an attempt to shed further light on these issues, the UNPO and the European Free Alliance, in cooperation with Centre Maurits Coppieters convened this timely conference in European Parliament in Brussels on 25 September 2014 entitled ‘The Right to Decide in the 21st Century: Scotland, Catalonia and beyond’. The conference consisted of two panels: the first one focused on ‘The Right to Decide in Theory and Practice’, whereas the second panel looked into the question of ‘Looking Forward, Looking Outward’.   

The overall conclusion to be drawn from this conference is that with legal uncertainty surrounding the question of self-determination and the right to decide, the scale of such movements provokes international resistance to change. Nonetheless, there is room for optimism. The very fact that people of Scotland had been granted the opportunity to decide represents a beacon of hope and empowerment for stateless nation seeking peace and security. The conference represents a continued open engagement with the topic of self-determination by the UNPO, which it aims to develop further in the future.

To download the report, including speaker biographies, please click here.

For the press-release and poster of the conference, please follow this link.

Three interviews were recorded with three speakers post-conference, Josep-Maria Terricabras,  Günther Dauwen, and Dr Dirk Rochtus.