Nobody asked but …
The people of the territory, Catalonia, were in older times annexed by the Franks to serve as a buffer against Moorish invasion from the Iberian Peninsula. There were likely many different reasons for this — too numerous to speculate on here. But it is fair to say, that the culture at the time was considered as an inferior culture suitable for serving external purposes apart from its own internal purposes. It was as if, for instance, the USA or Mexico isolated all or part of the states from Texas west, fortified the new border, and left the newly partitioned territory to fend for itself regarding immigration or invasion.
The aristocracies of some lands will pretend to the determination of lands other than their current domain. Therefore, historically, what are now France and Spain presumed that it was natural to use Catalonia for ulterior motives. It is of such presumptions that self-appointed rulers deem to fiddle with territory, as though the location and geo-characteristics of the territory are more prominent than the people who live there.
Catalonia, for instance, was situated so that its terrain, culture, and juxtaposition would make a tough crossing for Islamists, from Spain to France. What gave France the power to act on this determination? What gave Spain the right to annex Catalonia when France was done with it? Can the Catalonians ever experience freedom under either regime?
— Kilgore Forelle