"To this extent the Catalan debates"


Senior Member
The higlighted below highlighted words do not make any sense to me. I'm not used to seing "extent" used in this manner. Could the phrase be formulated in another way? What does it mean?

The failure of the current generation of Europe's leaders to understand this was what led to last year's referendum debacles in France and the Netherlands. To this extent the Catalan debates should guide a new European commonwealth, as the Putney debates did a new British one in the 17th century.
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