Convergence and Union

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Convergence and Union
Convergència i Unió
Abbreviation CiU
President Artur Mas
General Secretary Ramon Espadaler
Founded 19 September 1978 (coalition)
2 December 2001 (federation)
Dissolved 17 June 2015
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]
European affiliation Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (CDC),
European People's Party (UDC)
International affiliation Liberal International (CDC),
Centrist Democrat International (UDC)
European Parliament group ALDE (CDC)
Colours      Orange (official)
     Dark blue (customary)
Town councillors in Catalonia
3,333 / 9,077

Convergence and Union (Catalan: Convergència i Unió, CiU; IPA: [kumbərˈʒɛnsiə j uniˈo]) 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 June 17, 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".[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 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). 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]

On June 18, 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.[20]

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.[21][22][23] Many high ranking exponents of the Democratic Convergence define CiU as an independentist political force.[24][25][26] 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.[27]

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.[28] However, the supporters of independence within the Democratic Union are a minority with much less influence than their counterparts in the Democratic Convergence.[29]

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.[30] 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.[31] It is also the lowest percentage of the vote the coalition has scored since its formation in 1988.

Electoral performance[edit]

Parliament of Catalonia[edit]

Date Votes Seats Status Size
#  % ±pp # ±
1980 752,943 27.8% Government 1st
1984 1,346,729 46.8% +19.0 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg29 Government 1st
1988 1,232,514 45.7% –1.1 Red Arrow Down.svg3 Government 1st
1992 1,221,233 46.2% +0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 Government 1st
1995 1,320,071 40.9% –5.3 Red Arrow Down.svg10 Government 1st
1999 1,178,420 37.7% –3.2 Red Arrow Down.svg4 Government 2nd
2003 1,024,425 30.9% –6.8 Red Arrow Down.svg10 Opposition 2nd
2006 935,756 31.5% +0.6 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 Opposition 1st
2010 1,202,830 38.4% +6.9 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg14 Government 1st
2012 1,116,259 30.7% –7.7 Red Arrow Down.svg12 Government 1st

Cortes Generales[edit]


Congress of Deputies
Date Votes Seats Status Size Notes
#  % ±pp # ±
1979 483,353 2.7% –0.1 Red Arrow Down.svg3 Opposition 5th government support 1980–81
1982 772,726 3.7% +1.0 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 Opposition 5th
1986 1,014,258 5.0% +1.3 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6 Opposition 4th
1989 1,032,243 5.0% ±0.0 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition 5th
1993 1,165,783 4.9% −0.1 Red Arrow Down.svg1 Opposition 4th government support 1993–95
1996 1,151,633 4.6% −0.3 Red Arrow Down.svg1 Opposition 4th government support
2000 970,421 4.2% −0.4 Red Arrow Down.svg1 Opposition 4th
2004 835,471 3.2% −1.0 Red Arrow Down.svg5 Opposition 4th
2008 779,425 3.0% −0.2 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 Opposition 4th
2011 1,015,691 4.2% +1.2 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6 Opposition 5th
Date Seats Size
# ±
1979 Red Arrow Down.svg1 6th
1982 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 *
1986 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 3rd
1989 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 3rd
1993 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 3rd
1996 Red Arrow Down.svg2 3rd
2000 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 4th
2004 Red Arrow Down.svg4 5th
2008 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 4th
2011 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5 3rd
  • * Within Catalunya al Senat.


Congress of Deputies
Date Votes Seats Size
#  % ±pp # ±
1979 483,353 16.4% –0.5 Red Arrow Down.svg3 4th
1982 772,726 22.5% +6.1 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 2nd
1986 1,014,258 32.0% +9.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6 2nd
1989 1,032,243 32.7% +0.7 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 2nd
1993 1,165,783 31.8% −0.9 Red Arrow Down.svg1 2nd
1996 1,151,633 29.6% −2.2 Red Arrow Down.svg1 2nd
2000 970,421 28.8% −0.8 Red Arrow Down.svg1 2nd
2004 835,471 20.8% −8.0 Red Arrow Down.svg5 2nd
2008 779,425 20.9% +0.1 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 2nd
2011 1,015,691 29.3% +8.4 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg6 1st
Date Seats Size
# ±
1979 Red Arrow Down.svg1 4th
1982 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg4 *
1986 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg3 2nd
1989 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg2 1st
1993 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 1st
1996 Red Arrow Down.svg2 2nd
2000 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 2nd
2004 Red Arrow Down.svg4 2nd
2008 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 2nd
2011 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg5 1st
  • * Within Catalunya al Senat.

European Parliament[edit]

Date Votes Seats Size
#  % ±pp # ±
1987 853,603 4.4% 5th
1989 666,602 4.2% –0.2 Red Arrow Down.svg1 5th
1994 865,913 4.7% +0.5 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 4th
1999 937,687 4.4% –0.3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 4th
2004 798,816 5.1% +0.7 Red Arrow Down.svg2 *
2009 808,246 5.1% ±0.0 Green Arrow Up Darker.svg1 **
2014 851,971 5.4% +0.3 Arrow Blue Right 001.svg0 **
Date Votes Size
#  % ±pp
1987 843,322 27.8% 2nd
1989 655,339 27.5% –0.3 2nd
1994 806,610 31.5% +4.0 1st
1999 843,021 29.3% –2.2 2nd
2004 369,103 17.4% –11.9 3rd
2009 441.810 22.4% +5.0 2nd
2014 549,096 21.8% −0.6 2nd

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, 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. ^ 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 Smith, Angel (2009), Historical Dictionary of Spain, Scarecrow Press, pp. 199–202 
  6. ^ 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. 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" (PDF). CiU. Barcelona. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Felip Puig: "La independencia de Catalunya sólo será posible a través de CiU"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "El último deseo de Felip Puig es la independencia - Noticias Política - e-notícies". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  23. ^ ""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. 
  24. ^ "Oriol Pujol aclareix que CiU no és independentista - VilaWeb". 2010-07-19. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "David Madí, democràcia a sang freda". YouTube. 2007-11-09. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "Nació Digital: Àngel Colom: "La via més curta cap a la independència és CiU"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  27. ^ "Artur Mas: Votaría sí en un referéndum sobre la independencia de Cataluña". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  28. ^ "Nació Digital: Vila d'Abadal: "El nostre país tornarà a ser lliure"". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (25 November 2012). "Nationalists triumph in Catalan elections". The Independent, London Nov 25, 22:00h. The Independent. Retrieved 25 November 2012.