Francisco Pereira Coutinho: Independence in the European Union

Independence in the European Union

Francisco Pereira Coutinho

The dream of “independence in Europe” has been driving the very successful political action of nationalist movements in substate regions such as Catalonia, Flanders, Scotland or the Basque Country. After tracing this telos to the federal nature of the European Union, this essay analyses the legal arguments which support the claim to political independence of those regions, first and foremost the right to secede based on the principle of self-determination of peoples. It finishes by discussing the legal paths for the transformation of substate regions into Member States of the European Union within consensual and non-consensual secession processes.


Coutinho, Francisco Pereira. / Independence in the European Union. In: Perspectives on Federalism. 2023 ; Vol. 15, No. 1-2. pp. 140-191.

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