The following timeline explains in a nutshell how we got here. It allows us to understand the evolution of this movement, in which Catalan civil society is the one pushing political leaders to organise a referendum.
30 September 2005
The Parliament of Catalonia passes a proposal for a new Statute of Autonomy.
The Catalan Parliament approves (with the support of 120 MPs out of 135) a proposal to reform the 1979 Statute of Autonomy with the aim of finally accommodating Catalonia within the Spanish state. Socialist president Pasqual Maragall states that Catalonia is a nation.
18 June 2006
After being approved by the Parliament of Catalonia and the two chambers of the Spanish Parliament, the Statute is ratified by the people of Catalonia via a referendum.
In the referendum 73.9% of Catalans ratify the text. Afterwards, Spanish King Juan Carlos I signs it and it is published as an organic law in the Spanish government’s Official Bulletin.
13 September 2009
The town of Arenys de Munt (Barcelona) holds a non-binding referendum on self-determination. During the following year 554 towns follow suit.
Between 2009 and 2011 many towns and villages, including Barcelona, hold the same referendum. It is a bottom-up movement: organized by citizens without any institutional help.
28 June 2010
Almost four years after it became law, the Spanish Constitutional Court rewrites 14 articles of the Catalan Statute and reinterprets 27 others.
The Statute is legally contested in 2006 by the Spanish People’s Party. After four years of deliberations, the Constitutional Court of Spain, by a 6 to 4 majority of its members, rewrites and changes the interpretation of 41 articles – mainly those relating to language, justice and fiscal policy – thus watering down the main tool for Catalonia’s self-rule.
10 July 2010
As a response to the Court’s sentence, a huge protest under the slogan ‘We are a nation. We decide!’ is organized.
Civil society group Òmnium Cultural calls for a mass demonstration in Barcelona against the Court’s decision.
28 November 2010
Elections for the Parliament of Catalonia result in a change in the balance of power. Victory is for current president Artur Mas.
After two terms of a centre-left coalition government, Convergència i Unió win the elections and the current Catalan president is elected.
11 September 2012
On Catalan National Day, 1.5 million people attend a demonstration in Barcelona with ‘Catalonia: Next State in Europe’ as its slogan.
This rally, organized by the Catalan National Assembly, is the biggest ever held in Catalonia.
20 September 2012
Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy rejects the Catalan President’s offer for a new fiscal agreement.
Rajoy argues that it would be contrary to the Constitution, although the Basque Country and Navarra already have this system. The Catalan president explains that a majority of Catalans want a fairer fiscal agreement.
25 November 2012
Early elections are held. As a result, 80% of the Parliament of Catalonia support the right to self-determination.
After the huge September protest and the Spanish government’s negative response to a new fiscal agreement, President Mas calls for early elections. The new Catalan Parliament has 107 out of 135 MPs supporting a self-determination referendum.
23 February 2013
The Catalan Sovereignty Declaration is adopted by the Catalan Parliament.
It asserts that Catalonia is a sovereign entity and its citizens will be able to choose their own political future. The Spanish Constitutional Court nullifies this declaration on 25 March 2014.
13 March 2013
A vast majority (77%) of the Catalan Parliament request the Catalan President to start negotiations with the Spanish Government so as to hold a self-determination referendum in Catalonia.
The request is supported by 104/135 MPs, including those belonging to the ruling coalition and four opposition parties. Only two parties reject it (PP & C’s).
11 September 2013
About 2 million Catalans hold hands to form The Catalan Way Towards Independence – a human chain covering 400 km from the north to the south of Catalonia.
The Catalan National Assembly organizes the protest inspired by 1989′s Baltic Way. Smaller human chains are also organized in more than 100 cities worldwide.
12 December 2013
The Catalan Government and six parties agree on the date and the question for the self-determination referendum.
Parties reach a historic agreement: the referendum will take place on 9 November 2014 and it will ask a two-part question: “Do you want Catalonia to be a State? If so, do you want Catalonia to be an independent State?”
16 January 2014
The Parliament of Catalonia makes a formal petition asking the Spanish Government to transfer the necessary powers to hold the referendum (like Westminster has done with Scotland).
As in the UK, the Parliament of Catalonia asks the Spanish Government to transfer the legal powers to hold a referendum
8 April 2014
The Spanish Parliament votes against transferring referendum powers to Catalonia. The two largest Spanish parties (PP and PSOE) coincide and vote NO.
11 September 2014
1.8 M people take the streets of Barcelona to celebrate Catalonia’s National Day and ask to vote on 9 November. They form an 11km-long flag mosaic in the form of a giant V that stands for Vote.
19 September 2014
The Catalan Parliament approves the Law on Non-Binding Popular Consultations with 79% in favour MPs. The law will serve as the legal basis for calling the 9 November independence vote, and was already foreseen in the 2006 Autonomy Statute for Catalonia.
27 September 2014
The President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, signs the decree calling an independence vote on 9 November in a solemn act at the Palau de la Generalitat, the main Government building in Barcelona.