Generalitat de Catalunya
Logo of the Generalitat de Catalunya
|Government of Catalonia overview|
1192 (first inception)|
1932 (first Statute of Autonomy)
1979 (modern Generalitat)
11 September 1714 (Nueva Planta Decrees)|
1 April 1939 (end of the Spanish Civil War)
|Headquarters||Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona|
|Annual budget||€34.03 billion (2017)|
|Government of Catalonia executive||
The Government of Catalonia or the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan; Eastern Catalan: [ʒənəɾəɫiˈtad də kətəˈɫuɲə]; Spanish: Generalidad de Cataluña) is the institution under which the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament of Catalonia, the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the Executive Council of Catalonia.
The Parliament of Catalonia unilaterally declared independence from Spain on 27 October 2017 as the 'Catalan Republic'. In response then Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy decided to dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia and to call a snap regional election for 21 December 2017. The independence declaration was turned down by the central Spanish government, and members of the Catalan government, including Carles Puigdemont, fled to Belgium claiming to be the legitimate government of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
The Generalitat of Catalonia stems from the medieval institution which ruled, in the name of the King of the Crown of Aragon, some aspects of the administration of the Principality of Catalonia. The first Catalan constitutions is that of the Courts of Barcelona from 1283.
Pau i Treva de Déu ("Peace and Truce of God") was a social movement promoted in the eleventh century as the response of the Church and the peasants to the violences perpetrated by feudal nobles. The origin of the Catalan Courts can be considered.
The hometowns, then, delimited a protected space of feudal violence. However, to ensure a coexistence climate, it was necessary to go further, establishing an authority that prohibited the practice of any type of violent act anywhere in the territory. This was the objective of the assemblies of Peace and Truce of God, the first of which, in the Catalan counties, took place in Toluges (Roussillon), in 1027, under the presidency of Abbot Oliba, on behalf of Bishop Berenguer d'Elna, absent from the diocese because he was on a pilgrimage.
Another medieval precedent- the Diputació del General de Catalunya (Deputation of the General of Catalonia, where "General" means the political community of the Catalans and not the military rank) – which the 1931 legislators felt was appropriate for invoking as a legitimising base for contemporary self-government.
Catalonia’s political past as a territorially differentiated community having its own representative and autonomous institutions, with respect to the sovereign power of the combined Catalan counties sovereignty own year 988 - 1283, Aragonese monarchies (1283-1516) and Castilian monarchies (1516-1808) and of the Spanish constitutional state (since 1812), can be divided into four stages, separated by three great ruptures in the legal/public order.
Catalan institutions which depended on the Generalitat were abolished in what is currently known in Catalonia as Northern Catalonia, one year after the signature of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in the 17th century, which transferred the territory from Spanish to French sovereignty.
Then, by the early 18th century, as the Nueva Planta decrees were passed in Spain after the Catalan defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession, the institution was abolished in the Spanish territory as well.
The Generalitat of Catalonia was restored in the southern part of Catalonia and given its modern political and representative function as the regional government of Catalonia in 1932, during the Second Spanish Republic. It was presided by Francesc Macià (1931-1933) and Lluís Companys (1933-1940)
After the right wing coalition won the Spanish elections in 1934, the leftist leaders of the Generalitat of Catalonia rebelled in October of that year against the Spanish authorities, and it was temporarily suspended from 1934 to 1936.
In 1939, as the Spanish Civil War finished with the defeat of the Republican side, the Generalitat of Catalonia as an institution was abolished and remained so during all the Francoist dictatorship until 1975. The president of the Generalitat at the time, Lluís Companys, was tortured and executed in October 1940 for the crime of 'military rebellion'. Nonetheless, the Generalitat remained its official existence in exile, leaded by presidents Josep Irla (1940-1954) and Josep Tarradellas (1954-1980).
The succession of presidents of the Generalitat was maintained in exile from 1939 to 1977, when Josep Tarradellas returned to Catalonia and was recognized as the legitimate president by the Spanish government. Tarradellas, when he returned to Catalonia, made his often quoted remark "Ciutadans de Catalunya: ja sóc aquí" ("Citizens of Catalonia: I am back!"), reassuming the autonomous powers of Catalonia, one of the historic nationalities of present-day Spain.
After this, the powers given to the autonomous Catalan government according to the Spanish Constitution of 1978 were transferred and the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia (Estatut d'Autonomia) was passed after being approved both by referendum in Catalonia and by the Spanish parliament.
Governance since 2006
Artur Mas held the office of President of the Generalitat from December 2010 until his resignation in January 2016, leading a minority government dependent on pacts with other parties including the Socialists' Party of Catalonia following the 2010 election and the 2015 election.
José Montilla, leader of the Socialist Party, had been the president of the Generalitat until November 2010, he was backed up by a tripartite coalition of left-wing and Catalan nationalist political parties. His party actually won fewer seats in parliament than the main opposition party, Convergence and Union, in the 2006 election, but as he gathered more support from MPs from other parties in the parliament, he was able to repeat the same coalition government that his predecessor (Pasqual Maragall) had formed in order to send CiU to the opposition for the first time after 23 years of Jordi Pujol's government.
On 18 June 2006, a reformed version was approved of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia and went into effect in August. In its inception, the reform was promoted by both the leftist parties in the government and by the main opposition party (CiU), which were united in pushing for increased devolution of powers from the Spanish government level, enhanced fiscal autonomy and finances, and explicit recognition of Catalonia's national identity; however the details of its final redaction were harshly fought and the subject became a controversial issue in the Catalan politics, with the ERC, themselves members of the Tripartite, opposing it. In 2006, the Spanish Supreme Court of Justice reduced the main statute voted in a referendum, eliminating more than 200 articles, due to a signature collection promoted by then Mariano Rajoy and Brey. Reason for the Independence Boom that happened in 2010 with 8% support in 2018 with 52.4% Support.
Former president Artur Mas (mentioned above) was recently charged by the Spanish government for civil disobedience, after he organised and staged a referendum on independence in 2014.
The most recent President of the Generalitat of Catalonia was Carles Puigdemont, member of the Catalan European Democratic Party, successor formation to the defunct Convergence and Union alliance. He was suspended from office on 27 October 2017, by the Spanish government.
Autonomous system of government
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politics and government of
The autonomous government consists of the Executive Council, the President and the Parliament. Some people wrongly apply this name only to the executive council (the cabinet of the autonomous government); however, Generalitat de Catalunya is the system of Catalan autonomous government as a whole.
The region has gradually achieved a greater degree of autonomy since 1979. After Navarre and the Basque Country regions, Catalonia has the greatest level of self-government in Spain. When it is fully instated, the Generalitat holds exclusive and wide jurisdiction in various matters of culture, environment, communications, transportation, commerce, public safety and local governments. In many aspects relating to education, health and justice, the region shares jurisdiction with the Spanish government.
One of the examples of Catalonia's degree of autonomy is its own police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra ("Troopers"), which has taken over most of the police functions in Catalonia which used to be served by the Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and the Spanish National Police Corps.
With few exceptions, most of the justice system is administered by national judicial institutions. The legal system is uniform throughout the Spanish state, with the exception of some parts of civil law – especially family, inheritance, and real estate law – that have traditionally been ruled by so-called foral law. The fields of civil law that are subject to autonomous legislation have been codified in the Civil Code of Catalonia (Codi civil de Catalunya) consisting of six books that have successively entered into force since 2003.
Another institution stemming from the Catalan autonomy statute, but independent from the Generalitat in its check and balance functions, is the Síndic de Greuges (ombudsman) to address problems that may arise between private citizens or organizations and the Generalitat or local governments.
As an autonomous community of Spain, Catalonia is not recognized as a sovereign state by any sovereign state. However, as Catalonia has progressively gained a greater degree of self-government in recent years, the Catalan Government has established nearly bilateral relationships with foreign bodies. For the most part, these relationships are with the governments of other powerful subnational entities such as Quebec or California. In addition, like most Spanish autonomous communities, Catalonia has permanent delegations before international organizations, such as the European Union.
More recently, Catalonia has embarked upon an expansion process of its international representation by opening a number of delegations worldwide. As of 2017, these exceeded 40. Most of these offices are located in major world cities like London, New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo and others. Each office has specific duties assigned by their ministry or department agency. Generally, the functions of these are the representation of specific interests of the Government of Catalonia, trade and foreign investment, Catalan culture and language support, tourist promotion and international cooperation activities.
There are no specific Catalan political institutions in Northern Catalonia, other than the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales. However, since 5 September 2003, there has been a Casa de la Generalitat in Perpignan, which aims to promote the Catalan culture and facilitate exchanges between each side of the Franco–Spanish border.
Right now, Catalonia only has 1 delegation abroad, after the rest were closed under article 155 of the Constitution following the constitutional crisis of 2017; this delegation is in Brussels, Belgium.
- 2017–18 Spanish constitutional crisis
- Catalonia Government 2006-2010 term of office
- Commonwealth of Catalonia
- List of Presidents of the Generalitat de Catalunya
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Media related to Generalitat de Catalunya at Wikimedia Commons