The Parliament is the institution that represents the people of Catalonia. It is at the heart of Catalonia’s institutional self-governing system.
The Parliament represents the people of Catalonia. As a directly and democratically elected body, the Parliament has supreme power and is the Generalitat’s most important institution – all other public institutions stem from it. The Parliament of Catalonia consists of a single chamber or house, and is independent and inviolable.
The Parliament of Catalonia has a single chamber of 135 members. As the institution which represents the people of Catalonia, it is a central part of the “Generalitat” (the Catalan system of government). The parliamentary tradition in Catalonia dates from the Middle Ages. Abolished under the Franco dictatorship for 40 years, the Parliament was eventually restored in 1980. There have been ten regional elections since then.
The configuration of political parties in the Catalan Parliament is very different from that in the Spanish Parliament. There are a larger number of parties with a significant parliamentary representation. In addition to the usual left-right spectrum of opinions, all parties also position themselves on the spectrum of opinions regarding the relationship between Catalonia and Spain.
There are currently seven parties represented in the Catalan Parliament:
Convergència i Unió (CiU) has 50 MPs (‘diputats’ in Catalan) and currently forms a minority government thanks to a Stability Pact with the main opposition party, ERC. CiU itself is a long-standing stable coalition of two parties which present a joint list of candidates at elections. Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya(CDC – liberals) is the larger partner, the smaller being Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC – Christian Democrats). CiU is in favour of the creation of a Catalan State and supports the holding of a referendum in Catalonia for Catalans to decide their own future.
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) has 21 MPs and is the leading opposition party. It is a left-wing, pro-independence party and campaigns for a referendum in Catalonia for Catalans to decide their own future.
The Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC) has 20 MPs. It is federated with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE). It is in favour of a constitutional reform to make Spain a federal country.
The Partit Popular (PP) has 19 MPs. It is a right-wing party in favour of Spanish unity and is also the party currently in Government in Spain. They are against holding a referendum on the future status of Catalonia.
Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds – Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (ICV-EUiA) has 13 MPs. It is a left-wing, green party and is in favour of a referendum on the future status for Catalonia.
Ciutadans – Partido de la Ciudadanía (C’s) has 9 MPs. It first entered Parliament in 2006. It campaigns in favour of Spanish unity, seeking to attract votes from both left and right-wing voters and is against the celebration of a referendum.
Candidatura d’Unitat Popular – Alternativa d’Esquerres (CUP) has 3 MPs. It first entered Parliament in 2012. It is an alternative left party, and is in favour of independence.