Convergence and Union

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This article is about the CiU. For CIU (note capitalisation), see Working Men's Club and Institute Union.
Convergència i Unió
President Artur Mas
General Secretary Ramon Espadaler
Founded September 1978 (coalition)
December 2001 (federation)
Headquarters C/Còrsega, 331-333
08037 Barcelona
Ideology Catalan nationalism,[1][2][3]
Internal factions:
 • Populism[5]
 • Christian democracy,[1][7][8]
 • Liberalism[1][7]
 • Conservatism[1][2][5]
 • Catalan independentism[9]
 • Social democracy[10][11]
Political position Centre-right[12][13][14][15]
International affiliation Liberal International (CDC),
Centrist Democrat International (UDC)
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (CDC),
European People's Party (UDC)
European Parliament group ALDE (CDC)
Colours Blue and Orange
Congress of Deputies
16 / 350
13 / 264
European Parliament
2 / 54
Parliament of Catalonia
50 / 135
Politics of Spain
Political parties

Convergence and Union (Catalan: Convergència i Unió, CiU; IPA: [kumbərˈʒɛnsiə j uniˈo]) is a Catalan nationalist electoral alliance in Catalonia, Spain. CiU is a federation of two constituent parties, the larger Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC). It is currently led by Artur Mas, who is also the current President of the Catalan Government.

CiU is a Catalan nationalist coalition. It was usually seen as a moderate nationalist party in Spain, although it has shifted to open Catalan independentism in the last years and has shown its intention to hold a referendum on Catalan independence in 2014. There is some debate as to whether the party is 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 is 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".[18]

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 than 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). 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.[19]

Policies and ideology[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

On Sunday, November 25, 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 results[edit]

In Catalonia[edit]

Parliament of Catalonia[edit]

Election Parliament of Catalonia Government
# of
party votes
 % of
party vote
# of
seats won
1980 754,448 27.8 (#1)
43 / 135
in minority
1984 1,346,917 46.8 (#1)
72 / 135
Increase 29 in majority
1988 1,232,514 45.7 (#1)
69 / 135
Decrease 3 in majority
1992 1,221,233 46.2 (#1)
70 / 135
Increase 1 in majority
1995 1,320,071 40.9 (#1)
60 / 135
Decrease 10 in minority
1999 1,178,420 37.7 (#2)
56 / 135
Decrease 4 in minority
2003 1,024,425 30.9 (#2)
46 / 135
Decrease 10 in opposition
2006 935,756 31.5 (#1)
48 / 135
Increase 2 in opposition
2010 1,202,830 38.4 (#1)
62 / 135
Increase 14 in minority
2012 1,116,259 30.7 (#1)
50 / 135
Decrease 12 in minority

Congress of Deputies[edit]

Election Congress of Deputies Government
# of
party votes
 % of
party vote
# of
seats won
1977 Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and
Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC)
1979 483,353 16.4 (#4)
8 / 47
in opposition
1982 772,726 22.5 (#2)
12 / 47
Increase 4 in opposition
1986 1,014,258 32.0 (#2)
18 / 47
Increase 6 in opposition
1989 1,032,243 32.7 (#2)
18 / 46
Steady 0 in opposition
1993 1,165,783 31.8 (#2)
17 / 47
Decrease 1 in opposition
1996 1,151,633 29.6 (#2)
16 / 46
Decrease 1 in opposition
2000 970,421 28.8 (#2)
15 / 46
Decrease 1 in opposition
2004 835,471 20.8 (#2)
10 / 47
Decrease 5 in opposition
2008 779,425 20.9 (#2)
10 / 47
Steady 0 in opposition
2011 1,015,691 29.4 (#1)
16 / 47
Increase 6 in opposition

See also[edit]


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


  1. ^ a b c d Dowling, Andrew (2005), "Convergència i Unió, Catalonia and the new Catalanism", The Politics of Contemporary Spain (Rotledge): 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): 173 
  3. ^ Hepburn, Eve (2009), "Degrees of Independence: SNP Thinking in an International Context", The Modern SNP: From Protest to Power (Edinburgh University Press): 199 
  4. ^ 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): 366 
  5. ^ a b c Smith, Angel (2009), Historical Dictionary of Spain, Scarecrow Press, pp. 199–202 
  6. ^ Wiarda, Howard J.; Macleish Mot (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. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Znojek, Bartłomiej (18 November 2011). "Parliamentary Elections in Spain". PISM Bulletin (The Polish Institute of International Affairs) 104 (321). Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Spain: Political structure". The Economist. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  15. ^ Connor, Richard (29 November 2011). "Catalan election result deals blow to embattled Spanish government". DW World. Retrieved 24 November 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. ^ Mas, Artur (2012). "Programa Electoral 2012". CiU (Barcelona). 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Felip Puig: "La independencia de Catalunya sólo será posible a través de CiU"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "El último deseo de Felip Puig es la independencia - Noticias Política - e-notícies". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  22. ^ ""El mejor instrumento para conseguir tranquila, pacífica y rigurosamente [la independencia de Cataluña] se llama CiU" | La Voz de Barcelona". 2010-08-27. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "Oriol Pujol aclareix que CiU no és independentista - VilaWeb". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "David Madí, democràcia a sang freda". YouTube. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Nació Digital: Àngel Colom: "La via més curta cap a la independència és CiU"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "Artur Mas: Votaría sí en un referéndum sobre la independencia de Cataluña". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Nació Digital: Vila d’Abadal: "El nostre país tornarà a ser lliure"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Mulligan, Mark (28 November 2010). "Catalan centre-right retakes political control". Financial Times Newspaper, London Nov 28, 22:00h. Financial Times. Retrieved 29 November 2010. 
  30. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (25 November 2012). "Nationalists triumph in Catalan elections". The Independent, London Nov 25, 22:00h (The Independent). Retrieved 25 November 2012. 

External links[edit]