Scotland and Catalonia
The Scotish referendum for seperation from Great Britany, it has to be understand as a historical process. The recorded European history started with the Roman empire. (Before that it was rather a east Mediterranean Sea history).
The Roman Empire was followed by medieval feudal political structure. If characterized with one sentence it was the rule of Mafioso kind of lords, who looked at their statehood as their private property. At certain time, mainly for the purpose of war, these lords joined their forces and subjected themselves and their holdings to the King, who was the first among many. Then the system was stabilized, and the kings became rulers, who got their blessing from the local clergy and the pope.
Later on, the residents in these kingdoms developed culture with certain uniqueness, that made them different from the residents of the neighboring kingdoms. This kind of uniqueness became more and more relevant when it became the basis for national identification. The Napoleon wars started a process of national states, that on one hand created unification in case of Italy and Germany, and on other hand separation in case of Austria-Hungarian empire. But also much later to dismantling of USSR.
And finally, the political leaders following the WWII had no choice but to learn from the history, and were unwillingly wrapped into a new state formation, the European Union. By the way it was not initiated by some important politician but by Robert Schuman, a Frenchman with German name, (that probably played role too at the time), who came up with a very humble proposition, if we see what came out of it. Creation of European Coal and Steel Community, whose members would pool coal and steel production. I feel it is necessary to add here a link about him since no one speaks about him and all the credit for creation of EU went to more senior political figures like Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle. http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/founding-fathers/pdf/robert_schuman_en.pdf.
Since the collapse of USSR, the trend in Europe is on one hand towards unification. It is a rather slow and tiresome process, due to some narrow minded local politicians, who oppose the necessary process of losing their grip on the decision process in their “Home Land”. Another political-social trend in Europe is a slow process of accepting the fact that political entity’s main and almost only task is to create and economically and socially prosperous environment to its citizens. No one things anymore that state is created to fight wars for some self nominated Political-Gods or for some idea created by some half witted self-nominated prophet.
And as to Scotland and Catalonia, they just don’t want to share their riches with those to whom they don’t feel they belong too. Its not surprising that the richest parts of Spain and also Great Brittany (Not so great and not so Britain) want the separation. Scots believe that as part of Euro Zone, with Euros in their pockets and their petrol will do economically better than with the GB and the pound. The Barcelonians just don’t like the Madridians, and why should they share their wealth with them and the Andalusians.
And anyway lately FC Barcelona is better than Real Madrid so who cares about Spain.