Convergence and Union
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Convergence and Union

Convergence and Union
Convergència i Unió
PresidentArtur Mas
General SecretaryRamon Espadaler
Founded19 September 1978 (1978-09-19) (coalition)
2 December 2001 (2001-12-02) (federation)
Dissolved17 June 2015 (2015-06-17)
Preceded byDemocratic Pact for Catalonia
Democracy and Catalonia
Succeeded byJunts pel Sí
HeadquartersC/ Còrsega, 331-333
08037, Barcelona
Political positionCentre[4][5][6] to
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (CDC)
International affiliationLiberal International (CDC)
Centrist Democrat International (UDC)
European Parliament groupALDE Group (CDC)
EPP Group (UDC)
Colours  Dark blue (customary)
  Orange (official)

Convergence and Union (Catalan: Convergència i Unió, CiU; IPA: [kumb'nsi.? j uni'o]) was a Catalan nationalist electoral alliance in Catalonia, Spain. It was a federation of two constituent parties, the larger Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC). It was dissolved on 17 June 2015.

CiU was a Catalan nationalist coalition. It was usually seen as a moderate nationalist party in Spain, although a significant part of its membership had shifted to open Catalan independentism in recent years[when?] and in 2014 demonstrated its intention to hold a referendum on Catalan independence. There is some debate as to whether the coalition was conservative[16] or centrist. Liberal tendencies dominate the larger CDC, while the smaller UDC is a Christian democratic party.[17] As for its position in the nationalist debate, it was deliberately ambiguous so as to appeal to the broadest spectrum possible, from voters who seek full independence from Spain to those who are generally satisfied with the present self-government status. In general, the CDC tends to be more supportive of Catalan sovereignty, while the UDC is considered closer to traditional Catalan autonomism and more nuanced nationalism. The electoral manifesto for the elections in 2012 states that "we want to build a wide social majority so that Catalonia can have its own State in the European frame, because Catalonia has the will to become a normal country among world's countries and nations".

In the most recent regional elections, held on 25 September 2012, CiU won 30.71% of the vote. It lost 12 seats in the Catalan Parliament, bringing them to a total of 50 deputies. While they have more than twice as many deputies as any other party, they were left 18 seats short of a majority in the 135-member body. After the election, they entered into coalition with the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), which has a completely different political orientation but also supports Catalan independence. El Periódico de Catalunya reported in August 2013 that the coalition may break apart due to fractions within the union about Catalan independence, with UDC opposing secessionism.[18]

On 18 June 2015 CDC spokespersons declared the CiU federation "finished", albeit amenable to an "amicable" separation. This occurred after an ultimatum had been issued by President Mas to UDC, due to their diverging positions on the Catalan independence process.[19]

Policies and ideology

CiU used to defend the notion of Catalonia as a nation within Spain, striving for the highest possible level of autonomy for Catalonia. However, it has recently become a pro-secession party.

CiU is generally considered a Catalan nationalist party; this is also the term it uses to describe itself. Both the Spanish and Catalan media perceive it as a moderate nationalist force. However, its liberal fraction (CDC) has a relatively strong current which advocates Catalan independence from Spain and which has grown stronger after 2006.[20][21][22] Many high ranking exponents of the Democratic Convergence define CiU as an independentist political force.[23][24][25] The party's president Artur Mas has stated he would vote in favour of Catalan independence in a theoretical referendum of independence, but he added this would not be his official policy if elected as President of Catalonia.[26]

On the other hand, the Christian democratic part of the coalition, the Democratic Union of Catalonia, is less favourable to the idea of an independent Catalonia. Nevertheless, several prominent members of the Democratic Union have also supported independence, especially since the late 2000s.[27] However, the supporters of independence within the Democratic Union are a minority with much less influence than their counterparts in the Democratic Convergence.[28]

Terms of office

At the Catalan level, CiU ruled the autonomous Catalan government during the 1980s until 2003 for 23 consecutive years led by Jordi Pujol (CDC). Pujol was succeeded in the party leadership by Artur Mas (CDC), while Unió's leader (second at the CiU level) is Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida. It then served in opposition to a tripartite centre-left government of the Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the Initiative for Catalonia Greens (ICV) until November 2010, when it regained power (but lacking an overall majority, still needing a coalition partner).

2008 General Elections

The party won 10 seats in the Congress of Deputies at the March 2008 elections.

CiU supported changes to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy to further increase Catalonia's autonomy. It is currently the most voted party at regional elections in Catalonia, but in 2003 lost its absolute majority and is the main opposition party at the Catalan autonomous level, having been replaced in the government by a centre-left tripartite coalition formed in 2003 and re-formed after the 2006 Catalan regional elections, which were called due to divisions in the coalition.

2010 Catalan elections

On Sunday 28 November 2010 (28-N) CiU regained control of the regional parliament after seven years in opposition, winning about 38 per cent of the popular vote, earning 62 seats out of the total 135.[29] Its platform was broadly centrist, and somewhat ambiguous about independence from Spain.

In the 2010 elections the turnout was just above 60%, and the Socialists' Party of Catalonia were considered the biggest losers, holding only 28 seats of their former 37. All other parties lost support, as well, except the liberal-conservative People's Party of Catalonia, which increased its support by 1.5%, and the liberal Citizens' Party which maintained their position.

2012 Catalan elections

On Sunday 25 November 2012 CiU maintained its control of the regional parliament by winning approximately 30 per cent of the popular vote and earning 50 seats of the total 135. This represents a drop in voter support since the 2010 election, with voter turn-out for the 2012 election at approximately 70%, or the highest since 1998.[30] It is also the lowest percentage of the vote the coalition has scored since its formation in 1988.

Electoral performance

Parliament of Catalonia

Parliament of Catalonia
Election Votes % # Seats +/- Leading candidate Status in legislature
1980 752,943 27.83% 1st
-- Jordi Pujol Minority
1984 1,346,729 46.80% 1st
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg29 Jordi Pujol Coalition (CiU-ERC)
Majority (from Feb. 1987)
1988 1,232,514 45.72% 1st
Red Arrow Down.svg3 Jordi Pujol Majority
1992 1,221,233 46.19% 1st
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Jordi Pujol Majority
1995 1,320,071 40.95% 1st
Red Arrow Down.svg10 Jordi Pujol Minority
1999 1,178,420 37.70% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg4 Jordi Pujol Minority
2003 1,024,425 30.94% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg10 Artur Mas Opposition
2006 935,756 31.52% 1st
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Artur Mas Opposition
2010 1,202,830 38.43% 1st
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg14 Artur Mas Minority
2012 1,116,259 30.71% 1st
Red Arrow Down.svg12 Artur Mas Minority (CDC-UDC)
Minority (CDC; from Jun. 2015)

Cortes Generales


Cortes Generales
Election Congress Senate Leading candidate Status in legislature
Votes % # Seats +/- Seats +/-
1979 483,353 2.69% 5th
Red Arrow Down.svg5[a]
Red Arrow Down.svg1[a] Jordi Pujol Opposition
1982 772,726 3.67% 5th
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5 Miquel Roca Opposition
1986 1,014,258 5.02% 4th
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 Miquel Roca Opposition
1989 1,032,243 5.04% 5th
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Miquel Roca Opposition
1993 1,165,783 4.94% 4th
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Miquel Roca Confidence and supply
1996 1,151,633 4.60% 4th
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Red Arrow Down.svg2 Joaquim Molins Confidence and supply
2000 970,421 4.19% 4th
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Xavier Trias Opposition
2004 835,471 3.23% 4th
Red Arrow Down.svg5
Red Arrow Down.svg4 Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida Opposition
2008 779,425 3.03% 4th
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida Opposition
2011 1,015,691 4.17% 5th
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5 Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida Opposition

Regional breakdown

Election Catalonia
Congress Senate
Votes % # Seats +/- Seats +/-
1979 483,353 16.38% 4th
Red Arrow Down.svg5[a]
Red Arrow Down.svg1[a]
1982 772,726 22.48% 2nd
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5
1986 1,014,258 32.00% 2nd
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3
1989 1,032,243 32.68% 2nd
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2
1993 1,165,783 31.82% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
1996 1,151,633 29.61% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Red Arrow Down.svg2
2000 970,421 28.79% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg1
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
2004 835,471 20.78% 2nd
Red Arrow Down.svg5
Red Arrow Down.svg4
2008 779,425 20.93% 2nd
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0
2011 1,015,691 29.35% 1st
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Total Catalonia
Votes % # Seats +/- Votes % #
1987 853,603 4.43% 5th
-- 843,322 27.82% 2nd
1989 666,602 4.20% 5th
Red Arrow Down.svg1 655,339 27.53% 2nd
1994 865,913 4.66% 4th
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 806,610 31.50% 1st
1999 937,687 4.43% 4th
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 843,021 29.28% 2nd
2004 Within Galeusca
Red Arrow Down.svg2 369,103 17.44% 3rd
2009 Within CEU
Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 441,810 22.44% 2nd
2014 Within CEU
Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 549,096 21.84% 2nd

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Dowling, Andrew (2005), "Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism", The Politics of Contemporary Spain, Rotledge, p. 106
  2. ^ a b Bukowski, Jeanie (2003), "Party Politics and Regional Strategies in Spain", Between Europeanization and Local Societies: The Space for Territorial Governance, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 173
  3. ^ Hepburn, Eve (2009), "Degrees of Independence: SNP Thinking in an International Context", The Modern SNP: From Protest to Power, Edinburgh University Press, p. 199
  4. ^ a b Paluzie, Elisenda (2010), "The costs and benefits of staying together: the Catalan case in Spain", The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows: Measurement, Determinants and Effects on Country Stability, Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 366
  5. ^ a b c d Smith, Angel (2009), Historical Dictionary of Spain, Scarecrow Press, pp. 199-202
  6. ^ a b Wiarda, Howard J.; Macleish Mot, Margaret (2001), Catholic Roots and Democratic Flowers: Political Systems in Spain and Portugal, Greenwood, p. 138
  7. ^ a b Pallarés, Francesc; Keating, Michael (2006), "Multi-level electoral competition: sub-state elections and party systems in Spain", Devolution and electoral politics, Manchester University Press
  8. ^ Schrijver, Frans (2006), Regionalism after Regionalisation, Vossiuspers, Amsterdam University Press, p. 112
  9. ^ Valandro, Franz (2002), A Nation of Nations: Nationalities' Policies in Spain, Peter Lang, p. 83
  10. ^ Gibbons, John (1999), Spanish politics today, Manchester University Press, p. 51
  11. ^ McNeill, Donald (1999), Urban Change and the European Left: Tales from the New Barcelona, Routledge, pp. 92, 184
  12. ^ Colomer, Josep Maria (2002). Political institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 183. ISBN 9780415267908. Retrieved 2011.
  13. ^ Znojek, Bart?omiej (18 November 2011). "Parliamentary Elections in Spain". PISM Bulletin. The Polish Institute of International Affairs. 104 (321). Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ "Spain: Political structure". The Economist. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ Connor, Richard (29 November 2011). "Catalan election result deals blow to embattled Spanish government". DW World. Retrieved 2011.
  16. ^ Sturcke, James (7 June 2006). "Catalan conundrum". The Guardian. London.
  17. ^ Hough, Dan; Jeffery, Charlie (2006). Devolution and Electoral Politics. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-7190-7330-4.
  18. ^ Barcelona, FIDEL MASREAL / (19 August 2013). "Unió ya piensa en una candidatura al margen de CDC". elperiodico.
  19. ^ "Convergència enterra la federació: "El projecte polític de CiU s'ha acabat i cal una separació amistosa"". 18 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Felip Puig: "La independencia de Catalunya sólo será posible a través de CiU"". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "El último deseo de Felip Puig es la independencia". e-notícies (in Spanish). 5 August 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  22. ^ "El mejor instrumento para conseguir tranquila, pacífica y rigurosamente [la independencia de Cataluña] se llama CiU". La Voz de Barcelona (in Spanish). 27 August 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  23. ^ "Oriol Pujol aclareix que CiU no és independentista". (in Catalan). 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  24. ^ tripartitwatch (9 November 2007). David Madí, democràcia a sang freda (YouTube) (in Catalan). Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 2012.
  25. ^ Cot, Salvador (8 September 2010). "Nació Digital: Àngel Colom: "La via més curta cap a la independència és CiU"". (in Catalan). Retrieved 2012.
  26. ^ "Artur Mas: Votaría sí en un referéndum sobre la independencia de Cataluña". (in Spanish). 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  27. ^ "Nació Digital: Vila d'Abadal: "El nostre país tornarà a ser lliure"". (in Catalan). 13 December 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  28. ^ "Els crítics d'Unió aposten per la independència i es distancien de Duran i Lleida" (in Catalan). 9 October 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  29. ^ Mulligan, Mark (28 November 2010). "Catalan centre-right retakes political control". Financial Times Newspaper, London Nov 28, 22:00h. Financial Times. Retrieved 2010.
  30. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (25 November 2012). "Nationalists triumph in Catalan elections". The Independent, London Nov 25, 22:00h. The Independent. Retrieved 2012.


  • Dowling, Andrew (2005). "Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism". The Politics of Contemporary Spain. Rotledge. pp. 106-120.

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