The EU set up the Committee of the Regions in 1994 with a huge lie. Its real purpose was to establish direct governance links between Brussels and European local government whilst bypassing those pesky democratic national governments and states. Sometime over the last ten or fifteen years, the EU decided either that this regional policy was a huge error or that, following the Treaty of Lisbon, that it was no longer needed. Today the Committee of the Regions is a poorly-funded embarrassment in Brussels, with an unknown President (the fourth or fifth EU President?), currently Karl-Heinz Lambert, and the third-smallest budget in the EU, largely spent on itself. The EU will never abolish it, of course, but it will just be gradually pushed further and further to the margins, absent from news releases, ignored, underfunded and unfashionable. Its Presidents and members feature on no ballot papers, and I'll bet there's not more than half a dozen people in the UK who know more than one of our 24 members. Shortly to go.
Yet during its lifetime, it has wasted more money and fomented more conflict than pretty much any other EU cabal. Ambitious regions, in conflict with their national governments, have even established 'embassies' in Brussels, in the most egregious display of snouts-in-the-trough misuse of tax money. Catalunya is one consequence, one that the EU now bitterly regrets.
It is quite possible that Catalonia will gain independence, but not from this referendum, at least not with any legitimacy. It will take a proper referendum, sanctioned by the Spanish government, overseen by observers, absent threat or coercion.
What a bloody mess. What utter stupidity - Spain's and the EU's. Forgive me, but everything the EU touches turns to shit. This could all have been avoided if skill and experience rather than zealotry and purblind anti-democracy had driven these fools.