The Catalan elections

Where next for the push for independence?

Event Details
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Editorial credit: astonphoto /

About this event

In the aftermath of the Catalan elections, join Policy Network to explore the lessons learnt and assess the implications for the region.

The Catalonian secessionist crisis was the most noticeable event that Spain offered to Western politics in the opening decades of this century. Within this time – characterised as it is by huge technological acceleration, myriad online and trade interactions across multiple levels, high levels of political polarisation, and widespread feelings of collective unease and discontent – the Catalonian secessionist movement has become one of the prevalent topics of public policy and political debate in the European Union.

The Catalonian matter is often reduced to a narrative that Catalonian citizens – typically dynamic, engaging and with the wonderful city of Barcelona as their capital – are not at ease with life within Spain and would like to rule their society and to organise their lives themselves. Meanwhile, the central authority in Spain resists any demand for attaining sovereignty. This antagonism has poisoned the relations between regional and central authorities and the conviviality among many Catalonian citizens.

As well as this event being held in the wake of the Catalan regional elections held on 14 February 2021, it coincides with the publication of a new Policy Network paper – Fragmented Catalonia: Divisive legacies of a push for secession – by Adolf Tobeña. The paper examines the existence of other Catalonian citizens who do not usually appear in tellings of this often truncated and over-simplified story. There is great diversity within this group, CatSpanish, a citizenry which recognises and declares a double national identity – both Catalonian and Spanish, to varying degrees for each person – in terms of feelings of belonging.



  • Chris Bryant MP, member of UK parliament and chair, all-party parliamentary group on Spain
  • Javi López MEP, member of European Parliament for Spain
  • Núria González Campañá, research fellow, University of Barcelona
  • José Ignacio Torreblanca, senior policy fellow and head, European Council on Foreign Relations Madrid
  • Caroline Gray, lecturer in politics and Spanish, Aston University and author, Territorial Politics and the Party System in Spain
  • Adolf Tobeña, author, Fragmented Catalonia and professor of psychiatry, Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • Barry Colfer, head of research, Policy Network (chair)



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More information

Attendance is free and open to all.

For more information, please contact event convenor Josh Newlove.