Catalans are not the people in terms of international law - expert
Under international law, various groups in the population of the existing national states cannot carry the 'people' characteristic and, accordingly, the Catalans are not the people in terms of international law, the professor of Public International Law at the University of Bonn Stefan Talmon said, speaking with DLF. According to Talmon, the pro-independence arguments have no legitimate grounds.
"International law is very 'conservative' in this regard, the expert said. The fact is that the rules were drawn up by national states - those who have already achieved their own statehood and are interested in preserving their territorial integrity.
"In this respect, international law does not give Catalans any legal claims to hold a referendum or declaration of independence," Stefan Talmon said. "However, it also does not object to this. This obviously contradictory situation results from the legal status of a population group in an existing national state: it is not a people and therefore is not an addressee of international law. "
Stefan Talmon considers the possible mediation of the EU in the Catalan conflict problematic: "The EU is primarily committed to its member states." Recognizing Catalonia, Brussels will deal a "blow in the back" of Spain.
Inside and outside the EU, there are many minorities, people's groups with their own identities that are not satisfied with their position in existing national states, the professor added, concluding that if the Catalans succeed in their endeavor, it could trigger a domino effect across Europe.