Reintegrating Donbas: experience of Basque Country (Spain)

Source : 112 Ukraine

Today more than 500 autonomist and separatist movements have created about 100 self-recognized or partially recognized states and territories
10:04, 28 April 2016

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Unrecognized states occupy about 10% of the total land. They are home to more than 220 million people. Today more than 500 autonomist and separatist movements have created about 100 self-unrecognized or partially recognized states and territories. At the same time, active hostilities have embraced 27 such areas. In other cases, conflicts have the status of "canned" or "unauthorized." As international experience shows, reintegration of the territories or determination of the legal status is the most complex and time-consuming.

Stages of reintegration od Donbas

Taking into account international experience and the main principles of reintegration, we can distinguish successive stages of conflict resolution in the East of Ukraine.

1. Stop the fighting and involving the peacekeepers of the guarantor countries.

2. The demilitarization of the political dialogue and media.

3. Neutralization of the radical and pro-military positions on both sides of the conflict.

4. Signing of a new international agreement (with the possibility of adopting the resolution of the UN Security Council) instead of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, territorial integrity and economic support of Ukraine.

5. Signing agreements on Donbas. Transfer the uncontrolled territories and ATO zone under the control of the High Representative of the UN and the EU on restoring Ukraine, for the transitional period (3-5 years). Creating Transitional international administration of Donbas (TIAD).

6. The formation of two management models - the transitional one for the Donets Basin, and the constant one for the rest of Ukraine.

7. Complete amnesty Ukrainian citizens on both sides (except for those who have committed crimes against humanity).

8. Local elections in Donbas under the auspices of the OSCE and TIAD - the formation of new local governments.

9. The referendum on the most sensitive provisions of the International Agreement on Donbas. Making permanent changes to the Constitution of Ukraine and its laws.

10. By-elections in Donbas to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine - political reintegration of the region.

11. Restore the general legal framework of Ukraine.

12. Securing the political, cultural and human characteristics of the region.

13. The liberalization of Ukraine and Donbas. Turning to the authorities a wide range of political views.

14. Launching international programs on social, economic and cultural reintegration of the region under the auspices of TIAD - the restoration and rehabilitation of horizontal social ties between Ukraine and Donbas - between different social and seasoned professional groups (doctors, students, entrepreneurs, artists, etc.).

Autonomization and political construction

Basque Country (Spain)

Being the unitary state, Spain, as well as Ukraine, was able to find a political solution - to define special status of autonomy for the territory of the Basque Country.

In the Basque Country, as in South Tyrol, the separatist processes were developed on the basis of ethnic and cultural differences. However, the contradictions were intensified by ineffective government policies and economic problems in the country.

The first mention of the autonomy of the Basque Country date from the distant 1425 year. Later Basques have lost these "special" rights for several centuries. Only in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War, the autonomy of the Basque Country was rebuilt. However, in 1937, after the victory of Francists autonomy edge was again eliminated.

Causes of conflict:

- Language discrimination of the local population (the first school with teaching in the Basque language appeared only in the 1960s).

- The desire of the Basque extremist to achieve full independence.

- Ineffective economic policies of the central government and, as a consequence, a protracted economic crisis in the region and the country.

- High level of unemployment in the region.

After the Second World War in the Basque Country was formed organization "Basque Country and Freedom", which enforced (often in terroristic way) separating the region from Spain and the establishment of an independent Basque state. The organization became terrorist one, and a guerrilla war against the government killed about a thousand people.

In 1973, "Basque Country and Freedom" has made one of its most famous actions - murder of Franco's successor as Prime Minister of Spain, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco.

Peace talks with "Basque Country and Freedom" were repeatedly failed. The level of mistrust between the Spanish and the Basques was extremely high, which was complicated by the lack of rational negotiating parties.

In 1978, the Spanish government adopted a new Constitution, which enshrined the autonomous status of the region of the Basque Country and granted the right to have their own elected parliament, the police, the school system, and tax administration.

Solution of the conflict

1. Political concessions

- Basque Country was granted autonomous status with its own legislature.

- The broad amnesty of militants.

- The population of the Basque Country of Spain was integrated into the political process (received representation in the Spanish Parliament), and also has its deputies at the European level - in the European Parliament.

- Police in the region is subordinated to the local authorities.

2. Financial concessions

- The local administration received authority in the collection of taxes in the territory of the autonomy.

- Appointment of officials of property registry service, exchange agents, brokers, and sales agents also falls within the competence of local authorities.

3. Humanitarian and cultural spheres

- The Spanish authorities recognized the Basque language as a national (in fact, an official in the region).

However, in the Basque Country disintegration public mood currently does not subside. In 2012, a referendum on secession from Spain was appointed as. And although the government of Spain achieved its cancellation, population surveys have shown that 39% would vote "yes."

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