How to gain independence and become a sovereign state

How to gain independence and become a sovereign state

Catalonia, whose leader Carles Pujdeme signed the Declaration of independence after a referendum on 1 October, is not the first time trying to become a separate state. But what it takes to be an independent country? Program of Bi-bi-si, The Inquiry examined the experience of recent history.

1 October in Catalonia has held an unofficial referendum on the independence of autonomy from Spain and turning it into a separate state.

On 10 October the leader of Catalonia Carles Pujdeme he signed the Declaration of independence of Catalonia, while urging the regional Parliament to postpone a Declaration of independence to establish a dialogue with Madrid on the question of secession from Spain.

According to him, the result of the past 1 October a referendum autonomy has received a mandate from the people to become an independent state.

This province is not the first time trying to achieve independence. But what you need to become an independent country? The program of the world service Bi-bi-si, The Inquiry examined the experience of recent history.

Four indicators

“To become a real country is impossible, if you don’t have its beer and its airlines,” said once a famous rock musician Frank Zappa.

But in fact experts in the field of international law there are four major factors necessary for any state.

It is the presence of people, territory, government and ability to maintain relations with other countries on the basis of sovereignty.

The definition of people is a lot of controversy, but we can agree that the people is a constant population that has an idea or a belief in their own nationality.

James Irving, a teacher of international law at the London school of Economics, believes that there is a certain identity, common interests, which are understood by the majority.

Another prerequisite is the presence of a specific territory, defined boundaries, which has sovereignty.

Stable and workable government is another criterion of statehood, as well as the ability to maintain relations with other States.

Thus, sovereign States have the right to engage in bilateral relations when, for example, the two countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations or to cooperate in addressing common problems and in multilateral relations, for example, as a member of the EU or party of international agreements on climate control.

Underlying all this is the understanding that a sovereign state is independent and not subordinate to any other state.

So, how to attain genuine statehood?


Individual countries can recognize each other, but all seek recognition of statehood from the UN.

This recognition brings immeasurable benefits — the protection of international law, access to loans from the world Bank and IMF control over the borders and greater access to economic organizations and mechanisms. Plus the possibility of concluding trade agreements in accordance with the generally accepted rules of the WTO.

But can the country to be unrecognized and UN at the same time to qualify for statehood?

“It is an old principle — if a bird walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck, says Rebecca Richards, Professor of international relations at the University of Kiel. We recognize that education is just like the state, it lacks only recognition.”

The history of Somaliland perfectly illustrates this thesis.

The former British protectorate in East Africa lasted four days as an independent state in 1960, then joined the former Italian Somalia. He was part of Somalia before the fall of the Mengistu regime in 1991.