The Catalan independence movement (Catalan: independentisme català;[a] Spanish: independentismo catalán) is a social and political movement with roots in Catalan nationalism, which seeks the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
The Catalan independence movement began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State). In 1931, Estat Català and other parties formed Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia; ERC). Macià proclaimed a Catalan Republic in 1931, subsequently accepting autonomy within the Spanish state after negotiations with the leaders of the Second Spanish Republic. During the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco abolished Catalan autonomy in 1938. Following Franco's death in 1975, Catalan political parties concentrated on autonomy rather than independence.
The modern independence movement began in 2010 when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy—which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia—were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against the decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organised by the cultural organisation Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.
The Government of Catalonia announced a referendum on the question of statehood, to be held in November 2014. The referendum asked two questions: "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?" and if so, "Do you want this state to be independent?" The Government of Spain referred the proposed referendum to the Constitutional Court, which ruled it unconstitutional. The Government of Catalonia then changed it from a binding referendum to a non-binding "consultation". Despite the Spanish court also banning the non-binding vote, the Catalan self-determination referendum went ahead on 9 November 2014. The result was an 81% vote for "yes-yes", with a turnout of 42%. Mas called another election for September 2015, which he said would be a plebiscite on independence. Although winning the majority of the seats, Pro-independence parties fell just short of a majority of votes (they got 47%) in the September election.
The new parliament passed a resolution declaring the start of the independence process in November 2015. The following year, new president Carles Puigdemont, announced a binding referendum on independence. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favour of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution creating an independent Republic unilaterally, by a vote considered illegal by the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain.
In the Parliament of Catalonia, parties explicitly supporting independence are Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCAT), formerly named Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC); Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), and Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP). Parties opposed to the regional independence are Ciutadans (Citizens), the PP Català (People's Party), the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC), and Podemos, the third largest party in the Spanish parliament. The latter supports a legal and agreed referendum.
Its main symbol is the Estelada flag, which has blue and red versions. The Senyera Estelada is a combination of the traditional Catalan Senyera with the Cuban and Puerto Rican revolutionary flags of the early 20th century. Since then, the Estelada has taken many forms, with the Estelada Vermella associated with left-wing Republicanism, the Estelada Blava representing a more conservative mainstream movement, and even the Estelada Blaugrana a flag for Pro-Independence supporters of FC Barcelona.
The Principality of Catalonia was a territory of the Crown of Aragon in the late 15th century, when Aragon was united with the Crown of Castile to form what would become the Kingdom of Spain. Initially, the various territories of Aragon, including Catalonia, kept their own fueros (laws and customs) and political institutions. In 1640, during the Thirty Years War and Franco-Spanish War, Catalan peasants revolted, starting the Reapers' War. The following year, the Catalan government seceded, called France for protection and finally named Louis XIII count of Barcelona. After a decade of war, the Spanish Monarchy counter-attacked in 1652 and recovered Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, except for Roussillon, which was annexed by France. Catalonia retained its fueros.
During the War of Spanish Succession, most of the territories of the Crown of Aragon supported Archduke Charles, the Habsburg contender, against the Bourbon contender. The Habsburgs' English allies withdrew from the war with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and shortly thereafter, Habsburg troops were evacuated from Italy and from Spain. This left the Catalan government isolated, but it remained loyal to Charles. After a 14-month siege, Barcelona surrendered to a Bourbon army on 11 September 1714. The end of the war was followed by the loss of the fueros of all Crown of Aragon territories, including Catalonia, and the imposition of the Nueva Planta decrees, which centralised Spanish government. 11 September, the date of the fall of Barcelona, was commemorated by Catalan nationalists from 1886, and in the 20th century it was chosen as the National Day of Catalonia.
The beginnings of separatism in Catalonia can be traced back to the mid–19th century. The Renaixença (cultural renaissance), which aimed at the revival of the Catalan language and Catalan traditions, led to the development of Catalan nationalism and a desire for independence. Between the 1850s and the 1910s, some individuals, organisations and political parties started demanding full independence of Catalonia from Spain.
The first pro-independence political party in Catalonia was Estat Català (Catalan State), founded in 1922 by Francesc Macià. Estat Català went into exile in France during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923–1930), launching an unsuccessful uprising from Prats de Molló in 1926. In March 1931, following the overthrow of Primo de Rivera, Estat Català joined with the Partit Republicà Català (Catalan Republican Party) and the political group L'Opinió (Opinion) to form Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia; ERC), with Macià as its first leader. The following month, the ERC achieved a spectacular victory in the municipal elections that preceded the 14 April proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic. Macià proclaimed a Catalan Republic on 14 April, but after negotiations with the provisional government he was obliged to settle for autonomy, under a revived Generalitat of Catalonia. Catalonia was granted a statute of autonomy in 1932, which lasted until the Spanish Civil War. In 1938, General Franco abolished both the Statute of Autonomy and the Generalitat.
A section of Estat Català which had broken away from the ERC in 1936 joined with other groups to found the Front Nacional de Catalunya (National Front of Catalonia; FNC) in Paris in 1940. The FNC declared its aim to be "an energetic protest against Franco and an affirmation of Catalan nationalism". Its impact, however, was on Catalan exiles in France rather than in Catalonia itself. The FNC in turn gave rise to the Partit Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional (Socialist Party of National Liberation; PSAN), which combined a pro-independence agenda with a left-wing stance. A split in the PSAN led to the formation of the Partit Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional - Provisional (Socialist Party of National Liberation - Provisional; PSAN-P) in 1974.
Following Franco's death in 1975, Spain moved to restore democracy. A new constitution was adopted in 1978, which asserted the "indivisible unity of the Spanish Nation", but acknowledged "the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions which form it". Independence parties objected to it on the basis that it was incompatible with Catalan self-determination, and formed the Comité Català Contra la Constitució Espanyola (Catalan Committee Against the Constitution) to oppose it. The constitution was approved in a referendum by 88% of voters in Spain overall, and just over 90% in Catalonia. It was followed by the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 1979, which was approved in a referendum, with 88% of voters supporting it. This led to the marginalisation or disappearance of pro-independence political groups, and for a time the gap was filled by militant groups such as Terra Lliure.
In 1981, a manifesto issued by intellectuals in Catalonia claiming discrimination against the Castilian language, drew a response in the form of published letter, Crida a la Solidaritat en Defensa de la Llengua, la Cultura i la Nació Catalanes ("Call for Solidarity in Defence of the Catalan Language, Culture and Nation"), which called for a mass meeting at the University of Barcelona, out of which a popular movement arose. The Crida organised a series of protests that culminated in a massive demonstration in the Camp Nou on 24 June 1981. Beginning as a cultural organisation, the Crida soon began to demand independence. In 1982, at a time of political uncertainty in Spain, the Ley Orgánica de Armonización del Proceso Autonómico (LOAPA) was introduced in the Spanish parliament, supposedly to "harmonise" the autonomy process, but in reality to curb the power of Catalonia and the Basque region. There was a surge of popular protest against it. The Crida and others organised a huge rally against LOAPA in Barcelona on 14 March 1982. In March 1983, it was held to be ultra vires by the Spanish Constitutional Court. During the 1980s, the Crida was involved in nonviolent direct action, among other things campaigning for labelling in Catalan only, and targeting big companies. In 1983, the Crida's leader, Àngel Colom, left to join the ERC, "giving an impulse to the independentist refounding" of that party.
Following elections in 2003, the moderate nationalist Convergència i Unió (CiU), which had governed Catalonia since 1980, lost power to a coalition of left-wing parties composed of the Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC), the pro-independence Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) and a far-left/Green coalition (ICV-EUiA), headed by Pasqual Maragall. The government produced a draft for a new Statute of Autonomy, which was supported by the CiU and was approved by the parliament by a large majority. The draft statute then had to be approved by the Spanish parliament, which could make changes; it did so, removing clauses on finance and the language, and an article stating that Catalonia was a nation. When the amended statute was put to a referendum on 18 June 2006, the ERC, in protest, called for a "no" vote. The statute was approved, but turnout was only 48.9%. At the subsequent election, the left-wing coalition was returned to power, this time under the leadership of José Montilla.
The Partido Popular, which had opposed the statute in the Spanish parliament, challenged its constitutionality in the Spanish High Court of Justice. The case lasted four years. In its judgement, issued on 18 June 2010, the court ruled that fourteen articles in the statute were unconstitutional, and that 27 others were to be interpreted restrictively. The affected articles included those that gave preference to the Catalan language, freed Catalonia from responsibility for the finances of other autonomous communities, and recognised Catalonia as a nation. The full text of the judgement was released on 9 July 2010, and the following day a protest demonstration organised by the cultural organisation Òmnium Cultural was attended by over a million people, and led by José Montilla.
During and after the court case, a series of symbolic referendums on independence were held in municipalities throughout Catalonia. The first of these was in the town of Arenys de Munt on 13 September 2009. About 40% of eligible voters participated, of whom 96% voted for independence. In all, 552 towns held independence referendums between 2009 and 2011. These, together with demonstrations organised by Òmnium Cultural and the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), represented a "bottom-up" process by which society influenced the political movement for independence. At an institutional level, several municipalities of Catalonia came together to create the Association of Municipalities for Independence, an organisation officially established on 14 December 2011 in Vic which brought local organisations together to further the national rights of Catalonia and promote its right to self-determination. The demonstration of 11 September 2012 explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process of secession. Immediately after it, Artur Mas, whose CiU had regained power in 2010, called a snap election for 25 November 2012, and the parliament resolved that a referendum on independence would be held in the life of the next legislature. Although the CiU lost seats to the ERC, Mas remained in power.
Mas and ERC leader Oriol Junqueras signed an agreement by which the ERC would support the CiU on sovereignty issues while on other matters it might oppose it. The two leaders drafted the Declaration of Sovereignty and of the Right to Decide of the Catalan People, which was adopted by the parliament at its first sitting in January 2013. The declaration stated that "the Catalan people have, for reasons of democratic legitimacy, the nature of a sovereign political and legal subject", and that the people had the right to decide their own political future. The Spanish government referred the declaration to the Spanish Constitutional Court, which ruled in March 2014 that the declaration of sovereignty was unconstitutional; it did, however, allow that there existed a right to decide. On 11 September 2013, an estimated 1.6 million demonstrators formed a human chain, the Catalan Way, from the French border to the regional border with Valencia. The following month, the CiU, the ERC, the ICV-EUiA and Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP) agreed to hold the independence referendum on 9 November 2014, and that it would ask two questions: "Do you want Catalonia to become a State?" and (if yes) "Do you want this State to be independent?". A further mass demonstration, the Catalan Way 2014, took place on 11 September 2014, when protesters wearing the Catalan colours of yellow and red filled two of Barcelona’s avenues to form a giant "V", to call for a vote. Following the Constitutional Court’s ruling, the Catalan government changed the vote to a "process of citizen participation" and announced that it would be supervised by volunteers. The Spanish government again appealed to the Constitutional Court, which suspended the process pending the appeal, but the vote went ahead. The result was an 81% vote for yes-yes, but the turnout was only 42%, which could be seen as a majority opposed to both independence and the referendum. Criminal charges were subsequently preferred against Mas and others for defying the court order.
In June 2015 the CiU broke up as a result of disagreement between its constituent parties – Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) and Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC) – over the independence process. Mas’s CDC joined with the ERC and other groups to form Junts pel Sí (Together for "Yes"), which announced that it would declare independence if it won the election scheduled for September. In the September election, Junts pel Sí and the CUP between them won a majority of seats, but fell short of a majority of votes, with just under 48%. On 9 November 2015, the parliament passed a resolution declaring the start of the independence process, proposed by Junts pel Sí and the CUP. In response, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the state might "use any available judicial and political mechanism contained in the constitution and in the laws to defend the sovereignty of the Spanish people and of the general interest of Spain", a hint that he would not stop at military intervention. Following prolonged negotiations between Junts pel Sí and the CUP, Mas was replaced as president by Carles Puigdemont in January 2016. Puigdemont, on taking the oath of office, omitted the oath of loyalty to the king and the Spanish constitution, the first Catalan president to do so.
In late September 2016, Puigdemont told the parliament that a binding referendum on independence would be held in the second half of September 2017, with or without the consent of the Spanish institutions. Puigdemont announced in June 2017 that the referendum would take place on 1 October, and that the question would be, "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?" The Spanish government said in response, "that referendum will not take place because it is illegal."
A law creating an independent republic—in the event that the referendum took place and there was a majority "yes" vote, without requiring a minimum turnout—was approved by the Catalan parliament in a session on 6 September 2017. Opposition parties protested against the bill, calling it "a blow to democracy and a violation of the rights of the opposition", and staged a walkout before the vote was taken. On 7 September, the Catalan parliament passed a "transition law", to provide a legal framework pending the adoption of a new constitution, after similar protests and another walkout by opposition parties. The same day, 7 September, the Spanish Constitutional Court suspended the 6 September law while it considered an appeal from Mariano Rajoy, seeking a declaration that it was in breach of the Spanish constitution, meaning that the referendum could not legally go ahead on 1 October. The law was finally declared void on 17 October and is also illegal according to the Catalan Statutes of Autonomy which require a two third majority in the Catalan parliament for any change to Catalonia's status.
The national government seized ballot papers and cell phones, threatened to fine people who manned polling stations up to €300,000, shut down web sites, and demanded that Google remove a voting location finder from the Android app store. Police were sent from the rest of Spain to suppress the vote and close polling locations, but parents scheduled events at schools (where polling places are located) over the weekend and vowed to occupy them to keep them open during the vote. Some election organizers were arrested, including Catalan cabinet officials, while demonstrations by local institutions and street protests grew larger.
The referendum took place on 1 October 2017, despite being suspended by the Constitutional Court, and despite the action of Spanish police to prevent voting in some centres. According to the Catalan authorities, 90% of voters supported independence, but turnout was only 43%, and there were reports of irregularities. On 10 October 2017, in the aftermath of the referendum, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, declared the independence of Catalonia but left it suspended. Puigdemont said during his appearance in the Catalan parliament that he assumes, in presenting the results of the referendum, "the people's mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic", but proposed that in the following weeks the parliament "suspends the effect of the declaration of independence to engage in a dialogue to reach an agreed solution" with the Spanish Government.
On 27 October 2017 the Catalan Parliament voted in a secret ballot to approve a resolution declaring independence from Spain by a vote of 70–10 in the absence of the constitutionalist deputies, who refused to participate in a vote considered illegal for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain. As a result, article 155 of the Spanish constitution was triggered, the Catalan government was dismissed and direct rule was imposed from the central government in Madrid. Under direct rule from Spain, elections were held in Catalonia on 21 December 2017. The three pro-independence parties retained their control of parliament with a reduced majority of 70 seats and a combined 47.5% of valid votes cast. Ines Arrimadas' anti-independence Ciudadanos party was the most voted party with 25.4% of votes, the first time in Catalan history that a non-nationalist party won most votes and seats in an election. Parties which endorsed the suspension of autonomy by central government represented 43.5% of votes cast and parties which did not include independence in their electoral program amounted to 52.5% of the vote, notably Catcomu-Podem (7.5% of votes and 8 seats), which is opposed to independence but supports a legal referendum and denounced the suspension of autonomy. The excellent performance of the centre-right parties on both sides of the independence debate, Ciudadanos and Juntxcat, and the underperformance of all other parties (notably, left wing parties and the Partido Popular) were the most significant factor in this election result.
The parties explicitly campaigning for independence currently represented in the Catalan Parliament are the Junts per Catalunya coalition (dominated by the PDeCAT, formerly called CDC), the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC)—and the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP). They obtained 34, 32 and 4 seats, respectively, in the Catalan 2017 election (a total of 70 out of 135 seats), with an overall share of 47.5% of the popular vote. This was two seats and 0.3% votes less than in the previous 2015 election
Other smaller pro-independence parties or coalitions, without present representation in any parliament, are Catalan Solidarity for Independence, Estat Català, Endavant, PSAN, Poble Lliure and Reagrupament. There are also youth organisations such as Young Republican Left of Catalonia, Arran, and the student unions SEPC and FNEC.
From around 2010, support for Catalan independence broadened from being the preserve of traditional left or far-left Catalan nationalism. Relevant examples are the liberal economists Xavier Sala-i-Martín and Ramon Tremosa Balcells (elected deputy for CiU in the European parliament in the 2009 election), the lawyer and former FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta or the jurist and former member of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial Alfons López Tena.
The Cercle d'Estudis Sobiranistes, a think tank led by the jurists Alfons López Tena and Hèctor López Bofill, was founded in 2007. It affiliated with Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència (Catalan Solidarity for Independence) in 2011.
Other individuals include:
All of the Spanish national political parties in Catalonia reject the idea of independence. Together they represent a majority of votes yet a minority of seats in the Catalan parliament. Of these, only Podemos is prepared to hold a referendum on the issue in Catalonia; others such as Ciutadans, and the People's Party of Catalonia, which had 25.4% and 4.2% of the vote respectively in the 2017 Catalan regional election, have always opposed the notion of Catalan self-determination. The Socialists' Party (13.9% of vote) opposes independence as well. While some of its members supported the idea of a self-determination referendum up until 2012, the official position as of 2015 is that the Spanish Constitution should be reformed in order to better accommodate Catalonia. A majority of voters of left-wing platform Catalonia Yes We Can (8.94%) reject independence although the party favours a referendum in which it would campaign for Catalonia remaining part of Spain. CDC's Catalanist former-partner Unió came out against independence and fared badly in every subsequent election, eventually disbanding due to bankruptcy in 2017.
On 8 October 2017, Societat Civil Catalana gathered over a million people according to the organizers and the Spanish government and 350,000 people according to Barcelona police, in a rally against Catalan independence. To date this event was the largest pro-Constitution and anti-independence demonstration in the history of Catalonia.
On 12 October 2017, 65,000 people, according to the Barcelona local police, marched against independence in a smaller demonstration marking the Spanish national day. The turnout was thirteen times more than the prior year and the highest on record in Barcelona's history for this event.
On 29 October 2017, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of Barcelona in favor of the unity of Spain and celebrating the Spanish government forcing new regional elections in December, in a demonstration called by Societat Civil Catalana. According to the Delegation of the Spanish government in Catalonia the turnout was of 1,000,000 people whereas according to the Barcelona police it was of 300,000 people. Societat Civil Catalana itself estimated the turnout at 1,000,000 people.
In 2017 the concept of 'Tabarnia' became viral on social media and received widespread media attention. Tabarnia is a fictional region covering urban coastal Catalonia demanding independence from the wider region should it proceed with independence. Arguments in favor of Tabarnia satirically mirror those in favor of Catalan independence from Spain. Numerous separatists were critical of the concept and responded that the parody unfairly trivializes Catalonia's independence movement, which is based in part on Catalonia's distinct culture and identity. This proposal, from a platform created in 2011, was shown to map the electoral results of the Catalan regional election of 21 December 2017, which provoked renewed interest. The word 'Tabarnia' went viral on 26 December 2017, reaching worldwide top-trending status with over 648,000 mentions. The first major demonstration in favour of Tabarnia's autonomy from Catalonia took place in Barcelona on the 4th of February 2017, with 15,000 participants according to the Guàrdia Urbana and 200,000 according to organizers.
One study found that support for independence is a function of grievances rooted in the desire for Catalonia to assume responsibility for taxation and spending policy. This suggests that Spain might be able to stave off Catalonia's separatist bid through some form of political and taxation policy reconfiguration.
The Centre for Opinion Studies (Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió; CEO) fell under the purview of the Economy Ministry of the Generalitat of Catalonia until early 2011. Since then it has been placed under direct control of the Presidency of the Generalitat and is currently headed by Jordi Argelaguet i Argemí. Since the second quarter of 2011, CEO has conducted polls regarding public sentiments toward independence.
|Date||In favor (%)||Against (%)||Others (%)||Abstain (%)||Do not know (%)||Did not reply (%)|
|2011 2nd series||42.9||28.2||0.5||23.3||4.4||0.8|
|2011 3rd series||45.4||24.7||0.6||23.8||4.6||1.0|
|2012 1st series||44.6||24.7||1.0||24.2||4.6||0.9|
|2012 2nd series||51.1||21.1||1.0||21.1||4.7||1.1|
|2012 3rd series||57.0||20.5||0.6||14.3||6.2||1.5|
|2013 1st series||54.7||20.7||1.1||17.0||5.4||1.0|
|2013 2nd series||55.6||23.4||0.6||15.3||3.8||1.3|
|2014 1st seriesa||–||–||-||-||–||–|
|2014 2nd series||44.5||45.3||-||-||7.5||2.8|
|2015 1st series||44.1||48.0||-||-||6.0||1.8|
|2015 2nd series||42.9||50.0||-||-||5.8||1.3|
|2015 3rd series||46.7||47.8||-||-||3.9||1.7|
|2016 1st series||45.3||45.5||-||-||7.1||2.1|
|2016 2nd series||47.7||42.4||-||-||8.3||1.7|
|2016 3rd series||45.3||46.8||-||-||4.6||3.2|
|2017 1st series||44.3||48.5||-||-||5.6||1.6|
|2017 2nd series||41.4||49.4||-||-||7.8||1.7|
|2017 3rd series||48.7||43.6||-||-||6.5||1.3|
|2018 1st series||48.0||43.7||-||-||5.7||2.6|
|2018 2nd series||46.7||44.9||-||-||6.7||1.6|
a The question was not asked in this survey; instead the two part question was asked (see below).
CEO likewise conducted polls in the 1st and 2nd series of 2014 based on the 9N independence referendum format. The questions and choices involved were:
|Date||Yes + Yes (%)||Yes + No (%)||No (%)||Abstain (%)||Others (%)||Do not know/Did not reply (%)|
|2014 1st series||47.1||8.6||19.3||11.1||2.7||11.2|
|2014 2nd series||49.4||12.6||19.7||6.9||6.2||3.3|
In addition, CEO performs regular polls studying opinion of Catalan citizens regarding Catalonia's political status within Spain. The following table contains the answers to the question "Which kind of political entity should Catalonia be with respect to Spain?":
|Date||Independent state (%)||Federal state within Spain (%)||Autonomous community within Spain (%)||Region within Spain (%)||Do not know (%)||Did not reply (%)|
|2010 1st series||19.4||29.5||38.2||6.9||4.4||1.6|
|2010 2nd series||21.5||31.2||35.2||7.3||4.0||0.7|
|2010 3rd series||24.3||31.0||33.3||5.4||4.9||1.0|
|2010 4th series||25.2||30.9||34.7||5.9||2.7||0.7|
|2011 1st series||24.5||31.9||33.2||5.6||3.5||1.3|
|2011 2nd series||25.5||33.0||31.8||5.6||3.4||0.8|
|2011 3rd series||28.2||30.4||30.3||5.7||3.9||1.5|
|2012 1st series||29.0||30.8||27.8||5.2||5.4||1.8|
|2012 2nd series||34.0||28.7||25.4||5.7||5.0||1.3|
|2012 3rd series||44.3||25.5||19.1||4.0||4.9||2.2|
|2013 1st series||46.4||22.4||20.7||4.4||4.9||1.2|
|2013 2nd series||47.0||21.2||22.8||4.6||3.5||0.9|
|2013 3rd series||48.5||21.3||18.6||5.4||4.0||2.2|
|2014 1st series||45.2||20.0||23.3||2.6||6.9||2.0|
|2014 2nd series||45.3||22.2||23.4||1.8||6.5||0.9|
|2015 1st series||39.1||26.1||24.0||3.4||5.3||2.0|
|2015 2nd series||37.6||24.0||29.3||4.0||3.9||1.1|
|2015 3rd series||41.1||22.2||27.4||3.7||4.2||1.4|
|2016 1st series||38.5||26.3||25.1||4.1||4.5||1.5|
|2016 2nd series||41.6||20.9||26.5||4.0||5.6||1.3|
|2016 3rd series||38.9||23.2||24.1||5.7||N/A||N/A|
|2016 4th series||36.1||29.2||23.6||4.5||3.4||3.2|
|2017 1st series||37.3||21.7||28.5||7.0||3.8||1.8|
|2017 2nd series||34.7||21.7||30.5||5.3||6.1||1.7|
|2017 3rd series||40.2||21.9||27.4||4.6||4.7||1.2|
|2018 1st series||40.8||22.4||24.0||6.3||4.6||2.0|
|2018 2nd series||38.8||22.4||25.5||7.8||4.4||1.1|
The Political Sciences Institute of Barcelona (Institut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials; ICPS) performed an opinion poll annually from 1989, which sometimes included a section on independence. The results are in the following table:
|Year||Support (%)||Against (%)||Indifferent (%)||Did not reply (%)|
a telephonic instead of door-to-door interview
|Date||Yes (%)||No (%)||Others (%)|
a The same poll, but asking what would be the case if a yes vote would imply leaving the EU
|Date||Yes (%)||No (%)||Others (%)|
Under Spanish law, lawfully exiting Spain would require the Spanish parliament to amend the constitution. It may be difficult for an independent Catalonia to gain international recognition; for example, many countries fail to recognize Kosovo, despite Kosovo having a strong humanitarian claim to independence. Most of Catalonia's foreign exports go to the European Union; Catalonia would need Spain's permission if it wishes to eventually re-enter the EU following secession. Catalonia already runs its own police, schools, healthcare, transport, agriculture, environment policy, municipal governments; other institutions, such as a central bank and a revenue collection service, would have to be rebuilt, possibly losing existing economies of scale. Accounting measures vary, but the BBC and Washington Post cite estimates that in 2014 Catalonians may have paid about 10 billion Euros (or about 12 billion USD) more in taxes to the State than what it received in exchange. As of 2014, an independent Catalonia would be the 34th largest economy in the world. Should Catalonia secede from Spain, residents of Val d'Aran (population 10,000) have stated they might break away from Catalonia.
Opponents of Catalan independence have accused the movement of racism or elitism, and argue that the majority of the Catalan public does not support independence. In an op-ed for the Guardian Aurora Nacarino-Brabo and Jorge San Miguel Lobeto, two political scientists affiliated with the anti-independence Ciutadans party, disputed the claim that Catalonia has been oppressed or excluded from Spanish politics. They argued that the independence movement is "neither inclusive nor progressive", and criticized nationalists for excluding the Spanish speaking population of Catalonia, and resorting to what they argue are appeals to ethnicity. These criticisms of ethnic-based appeals and exclusion of Spanish speakers have been echoed by other politicians and public figures opposed to independence, such former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González,  and the leader of Ciutadans in Catalonia Inés Arrimadas.
Members of the Catalan independence movement have strongly denied their movement is xenophobic or supremacist and define it as "an inclusive independence movement in which neither the origin nor the language are important". In addition, independence supporters usually allege most far-right and xenophobic groups in Catalonia support Spanish nationalism, and usually participate in unionist demonstrations.
Pronunciation of independentisme català in Catalan: Northern Catalan:[ɛ̃dpɑ̃dɑ̃s du katalɑ̃], IPA French Eastern Catalan: [indəpəndənˈtizmə kətəˈɫa] Western Catalan: [independenˈtizme kataˈla]
...which had started with a cultural renaissance (Renaixença) between 1833-1885...
What began as a cultural renaissance in the 1840s, ended as a growing call for political autonomy and, eventually, independence
The Catalan government has not set a threshold for minimum turnout, arguing the vote will be binding regardless of the level of participation.
Arran (Catalan for "level with") is the youth organization of the Catalan Pro-Independence Left, result of the merger between Maulets and CAJEI and local groups (such as the Youth Assemblies of Terrassa, Sant Sadurní or Horta, a process which began in 2008 and concluded in 2012.
The organization announced its creation on Saturday 14 July 2012 in Berga, during the Rebrot Catalan youth gathering, which celebrated its eleventh edition, culminating in events at the Pi de les Tres Branques annual gathering.Association of Municipalities for Independence
The Association of Municipalities for Independence (Catalan: Associació de Municipis per la Independència) is a Catalan organization of town councils and other administration entities created with the goal of achieving the independence of Catalonia.
This entity was formed on 14 December 2011, in the city of Vic. Nowadays it has the support of 786 town councils out of the 948 total in Catalonia (82,9%). In addition, 39 out of 42 county councils give support to the association and also all the four Catalan provincial councils.
There are six major parties in Catalonia that support the right of self-determination. In 2012, these were the proportions of mayors of each party who have signed for the association:
CUP: 4/4 (100%)
ERC: 128/139 (92.1%)
Convergència and Unió: 402/519 (75.3%)
ICV-EUiA: 13/23 (56.5%)
PSC 76/196: (38.8%)
PP: 0/8 (0%). (It does not support either self-determination or independence)
Without party (independent candidates) 46/53 (86.8%)
Other parties 4/4 (100%)
Administrated by public committee 0/1 (0%)Catalan European Democratic Party
The Catalan European Democratic Party (Catalan: Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català, PDeCAT), also known as the Catalan Democratic Party (Catalan: Partit Demòcrata Català), is a Catalan nationalist and liberal political party in Spain that supports Catalan independence. The party was founded in Barcelona on 8–10 July 2016, as the successor to the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia.Catalan Way 2014
The Catalan Way 2014 (Catalan: Via Catalana 2014), or "V", was a large gathering in Barcelona on 11 September 2014, the National Day of Catalonia, in support of the Catalan self-determination referendum of 2014 and of Catalan independence from Spain. It was organized by "Now is the Time", a unified campaign organised and funded by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) and the Òmnium Cultural. Two massive senyeres (Catalan flags), created by demonstrators wearing red and yellow T-shirts forming a giant human mosaic, filled the Diagonal and the Gran Via, and came together at the vortex in Plaça de les Glòries, forming a giant "V", symbolizing "victory", "vote" and "will" (Catalan: victòria, votar, voluntat). The "V" was 11 kilometers in length and about 200,000 square meters in area. Estimates of the attendance varied: though the Spanish government's office in Catalonia put it at about 500,000, Barcelona's Municipal Police put it at 1.8 million. An independent statistical analysis by the Autonomous University of Barcelona calculated that 900,000 people attended. The organisers, the grassroots Assemblea Nacional Catalana, said it was one of the biggest peaceful mobilizations in European history.The demonstration followed similar protests in 2010, 2012 and 2013 (the original Catalan Way). It was followed by the Free Way to the Catalan Republic (2015) and Go ahead, Catalan Republic (2016).Committees for the Defense of the Republic
The Committees for the Defence of the Republic (Catalan: Comitès de Defensa de la República), or CDR, previously named Committees for the Defense of the Referendum, are a network of assemblies that function on a local, regional and national level in Catalonia with the purpose to defend, at its creation, the Catalan independence referendum and later the Catalan Republic, from a pacifist and civil perspective. The assemblies include members of social and cultural organisations, pro-independence parties and citizens who seek to organise themselves against the alleged repression of the Spanish Government in each town and district.
The CDRs were created in September 2017, as voluntary groups founded by a diverse collective of popular associations. Their initial goal was to collaborate with the implementation of the Catalan independence referendum (1-O) which had been suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court. After the referendum, the Committees promoted demonstrations against the Spanish police and organized several actions during the general strike of October 2017.Declaration of the Initiation of the Process of Independence of Catalonia
After pro-independence parties won a majority of seats in the Catalan election on 27 September 2015, the Declaration of the Initiation of the Process of Independence of Catalonia (Catalan: Declaració d'inici del procés d'independència de Catalunya) was issued on 9 November 2015. The declaration declares the start of the process to create an independent Catalan state in the form of a republic and proclaims the start of a participative, open, integrating and active citizens' constituent process to lay the foundation for the future Catalan Constitution.The declaration was passed with 72 votes in favor, 63 against and 0 abstentions in the Parliament of Catalonia.
On 9 June 2017, the Catalan government announced the date of the independence referendum. It was declared illegal on 6 September 2017 and suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain because it breached the Spanish Constitution of 1978. It was held on 1 October the same year, using a disputed voting process, resulting in a 90% majority of votes favouring independence with a turnout of 42.58%. Subsequently the European Commission agreed that the referendum was illegal.Endavant
Endavant - Organització Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional (in Catalan: Forward - Socialist Organisation of National Liberation, Endavant (OSAN); commonly referred to only as Endavant) is an independentist, socialist and feminist Spanish political party in the Catalan Countries. Endavant was formed in July 2000, as a refoundation of the Platform for the Unity of Action, with the support of independents and local collectives. Endavant supports and is part of the Popular Unity Candidates (CUP).Fem la República Catalana
Let's build the Catalan Republic! (Catalan: Fem la República Catalana) was a gathering in Barcelona on 11 September 2018, the National Day of Catalonia, in support of Catalan independence and the Catalan Republic passed by the Parliament of Catalonia on 27 October 2017. It was organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the main civil society organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012.The number of participants that took part in the demonstration was 1,000,000 according to the Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona. Organisers said 460,000 people had registered beforehand for the event, using an online form.Free Way to the Catalan Republic
The Free Way to the Catalan Republic (Catalan: Via Lliure a la República Catalana), or Free Way, was a large gathering in Barcelona on 11 September 2015, the National Day of Catalonia, in support of Catalan independence. It was organized by "Now is the Time", a joint campaign organized and funded by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural. The number of participants was estimated at about 1.8 million according to Barcelona's Municipal Police.
The demonstration followed similar protests in 2010, 2012, the Catalan Way (2013) and the Catalan Way 2014. It was followed by Go ahead, Catalan Republic (2016).Go ahead, Catalan Republic
Go ahead, Catalan Republic or We are ready (Catalan: A punt or Endavant república catalana) was a coordinated demonstration that consisted of five large celebrations in Barcelona, Berga, Lleida, Salt and Tarragona on 11 September 2016, the National Day of Catalonia, in support of Catalan independence. It was organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, the main civil society organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012.The number of participants that took part in the demonstrations, according to the organizers, was 1,030,000 people, The municipal police estimated that 800,000 people participated while Spain's central government put turnout at around 370,000 strong.After winning a clear majority in the Parliament of Catalonia for the first time ever in 2015, secessionist parties approved a project to achieve independence in mid-2017. The objective of the demonstration was to boost and show support for this plan.
The demonstration followed similar protests in 2010, 2012, the Catalan Way (2013), the Catalan Way 2014 and the Free Way to the Catalan Republic (2015)La Forja
La Forja - Jovent Revolucionari (The Forge - Revolutionary Youth) is a left-wing Catalan independentist youth organization that acts in all the Catalan Countries. La Forja is part of the Popular Unity Candidacy–Constituent Call (CUP-CC) coalition and has very close ties with the political party Poble Lliure.Law of juridical transition and foundation of the Republic
Law of juridical transition and foundation of the Republic (Catalan: Llei de transitorietat jurídica i fundacional de la República) is the name of a Catalan law whose objective was to guarantee a new legal framework, as well as the orderly succession of the administrations and the continuity of public services, during the transition process of Catalonia to an independent state based on the suspended referendum held the 1st of October 2017. It was drafted to function as a provisional constitution in case 'yes' won the referendum and approved.The law was passed by the Parliament of Catalonia on September 8, 2017 with 71 votes in favor (out of 135) from the ruling coalition JxSí and CUP-CC represented by 72 seats and 47.8% of the social vote support and out-ruling the previous consensus of the Estatut framework and Spanish Constitution; the left-wing opposition party CSQP voted against it and the other opposition parties left the chamber before the votes were cast which represented an opposition of 63 seats even a 48.05% of the social vote.The law was suspended on September 12 by the Constitutional Court of Spain after accepting an appeal from the Spanish government.Maulets (politics)
Maulets (Eastern Catalan: [məwˈlɛts]) was a youth political organisation that belongs to the Catalan anti-fascist independence movement. Its task is to mobilise the youth of Catalonia (Spain) in order to achieve an independent and socialist nation.
The term "maulet" comes from the popular name given to Austriacist supporters in the Kingdom of Valencia during the War of the Spanish Succession.Muriel Casals i Couturier
Muriel Casals i Couturier (6 April 1945 – 14 February 2016) was a Catalan economist with both Spanish and French nationality.Reagrupament
Reagrupament or Reagrupament Independentista (Realignment for Independence or Independence Rally) is a political party in Catalonia, Spain, formally constituted on 3 October 2009. It is an umbrella group for various supporters of Catalan independence and the creation of a sovereign state for Catalonia. It has no representation in the Catalan Parliament. It is the most important extra-parliamentary independentist party in Catalonia.
It was formed in July 2007 as a critical current within the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) by members who opposed the party's alliance with two other leftist, but non-independentist parties, the Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) and the Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV). In 2009, they founded a new political platform, which was later re-organized as a political party.
Reagrupament's strategic aims are a democratic regeneration of Catalonia and the unilateral declaration of independence of the region by the Parliament of Catalonia.In 2010, Reagrupament negotiated an electoral alliance with the Catalan Solidarity for Independence, led by Joan Laporta. Despite a common aim - the independence of Catalonia - and a similar ideological background, the negotiations failed due to divergences in mid-term strategy and disagreements over the compilation of electoral lists.
In the 2010 parliamentary election in Catalonia, Reagrupament gained 1.28% of the vote and no seats in parliament. It had the best results in the Circumscription of Girona with 3.28%, and the worst in the Circumscription of Tarragona with 0.93%.
Reagrupament is led by Joan Carretero and Rut Carandell and its slogan is Independence and Democracy.
In the 2015 general election, the party is a member of the Democracy and Freedom coalition.Wake Up Europe!
Wake Up Europe! (Catalan: Europa, desperta't!) is a gathering in Brussels on 7 December 2017 in support of Catalan independence. It was organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the main civil society organisations behind the massive pro-independence demonstrations held since 2012, and Òmnium Cultural.The number of participants that took part in the demonstration was 45,000 according to the Police Bruxelles Capitale Ixelles.The demonstration followed similar protests in 2012, the Catalan Way (2013), the Catalan Way 2014, the Free Way to the Catalan Republic (2015), Go ahead, Catalan Republic (2016) and National Day for Yes (2017).
Representatives from a pro-independence pressure group handed over a petition with 25,000 signatures to the European Parliament. The manifesto delivered by members of the Committees for the Defense of the Republic calls on the European Union to act to achieve «the release of the political prisoners».White Paper on the National Transition of Catalonia
The White Paper on the National Transition of Catalonia is a white paper that analyzes the different aspects to consider in the process of transition towards an independent Catalonia. The book, published by the Government of Catalonia in 2014, includes all of the reports prepared by the Advisory Council for the National Transition and a summary of those made by the Secretary of the Council.Yes Campaign
Yes Campaign (Catalan: Campanya del Sí) is a Catalan campaign made up of different organisations and individuals campaigning in favor for a Yes vote in the Catalan independence referendum, 2017. It was launched on 3 August 2017.The campaign is promoted by the Catalan National Assembly and includes Òmnium Cultural, Association of Municipalities for Independence, Catalan European Democratic Party, Republican Left of Catalonia, Popular Unity Candidacy, Democrats of Catalonia, Left Movement and Catalan Solidarity for Independence.Young Republican Left of Catalonia
The Young Republican Left of Catalonia (in Catalan: Joventuts d'Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, JERC) is the youth wing of the Republican Left of Catalonia (in Catalan: Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC), a political party.
According to their declaration of principles, JERC's aim is "attaining a democratic society, in which any sign of social or national oppression had disappeared within an ecologically equilibrated territory, by bringing awareness and mobilizing the youth of the Països Catalans. This includes support for the independence of Catalonia and the rest of the Països Catalans.
One of their main activities is an independentist festival, Acampada Jove, which attracts hundreds of Catalan pro-independence youngsters every year.
Their current spokesman is Pau Morales. JERC also publishes its own magazine, called LA VEU del jovent (The Voice of the Youngsters). Like ERC, they use both the traditional blue and more left-wing red versions of the Catalan pro-independence flag, the estelada.