If I may parahprase Berta Badia's comment that "That’s what the true spirit of European integration should be about", it is sad to have to acknowledge that the "true spirit of Spanish integration" has consistently and unfortunately been to try and legitimize the annexation to Castile (following the 1714 defeat) of Catalonia, and similar processes of colonization of other territories that had previously shared the monarch with Castile, but not much else (not currency, tariffs, legislation, institutions, civil law, or in some cases language, etc.).
The 1854 school map of Spain is particularly illuminating: http://mapas.owje.com/img/Mapa-Politico-de-Espana-1854-4049.jpg . Here you can see Catalonia and the whole of the former kingdom of Aragon described as "España incorporada o asimilada".
The failure of Spain as a project has been not to get rid of this ultimate aim. Prejudice and stereotypes continue to portray the Catalans as deviants, as "bad" Spaniards. Franco didn't invent anything: he was just rather more ruthless than those before him and, as we can see, some of those who have succeeded him. The level of threats being hurled daily at the Catalan people are simply not acceptable in 21st century Europe, I mean it. If the English (or Belgian, or Canadian) head of the Transplants organisation said it would be "difficult" to supply organs for transplants to a seceding territory, I doubt they would last five minutes in their job. But Catalan-bashing is a tolerated sport in Spain's still antiquated discourse.
- See other comments to Dr. Weiler's post here: http://www.ejiltalk.org/catalonian-independence-and-the-european-union/#comments
- See other comments to Dr. Krisch's reply here: http://www.ejiltalk.org/catalonias-indepence-a-reply-to-joseph-weiler/#comments
- And my remarks, in the same debate, on "Catalan-bashing": http://miquelstrubell.blogspot.com/2013/01/catalan-bashing.html