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Convergència i Unió

Convergència i Unió

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Convergence and Union is a centre-right
Centre-right
The centre-right or center-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties, or organizations whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances. Centre-right can also describe a coalition of centrist...

 electoral alliance
Electoral alliance
An electoral alliance may take the form of a bipartisan electoral agreement, electoral agreement, electoral coalition or electoral bloc. It is an association of political parties or individuals which exists solely to stand in elections...

 in Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. CiU is technically a federation of two constituent parties, the larger Democratic Convergence of Catalonia
Democratic Convergence of Catalonia
The Democratic Convergence of Catalonia is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. Together with Democratic Union of Catalonia, it forms part of the Convergence and Union coalition. It is affiliated with the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party and with the Liberal International...

 (CDC) and its smaller counterpart, the Democratic Union of Catalonia
Democratic Union of Catalonia
The Democratic Union of Catalonia is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. Together with the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia, it is part of the Convergence and Union coalition.It describes itself as Catalan nationalist and Christian Democrat....

 (UDC). It is currently led by Artur Mas, who is the current President of the Catalan Government.

CiU is a Catalan nationalist
Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism or Catalanism , is a political movement advocating for either further political autonomy or full independence of Catalonia....

 party. It is usually seen as a moderate nationalist party, both in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain. Depending on the observer it is regarded as either conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 or centrist. Still, liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 leanings may be found in the larger CDC, while Union is a Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 party. 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
Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism is a political movement, derived from Catalan nationalism, which supports the independence of Catalonia or the so-called Catalan countries from Spain and France...

 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
Autonomism (political doctrine)
Autonomism is a doctrine which supports acquiring or preserving political autonomy of a nation or a region. It is not necessarily opposed to federalism, quite to the contrary...

 and more nuanced nationalism.

In the most recent regional elections
Catalonian parliamentary election, 2010
Elections to fill 135 seats of the Parliament of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain, were held on Sunday, 28 November 2010.-Electoral process:-Candidatures with current parliamentary representation:...

, held on 28 November 2010, CiU won by 38.5% of the vote. It gained 14 seats in the Catalan Parliament
Parliament of Catalonia
The Parliament of Catalonia is the unicameral legislature of Catalonia. It is formed by 135 members , who are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of Catalonia, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four...

, which brought them to a total of 62 deputies. While they hold more than twice as many seats as any other party, they are still 6 seats short of a majority in the 135 member body. Although they have stated the determination to rule without a formal coalition, in certain issues they seek external support from other political parties, especially Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and People's Party
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 (PPC).

Policies and ideology


CiU strongly defends the notion of Catalonia as a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 within Spain, and strives for the highest possible level of autonomy for Catalonia.

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
Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism is a political movement, derived from Catalan nationalism, which supports the independence of Catalonia or the so-called Catalan countries from Spain and France...

 from Spain and which has grown stronger after 2006. Many high ranking exponents of the Democratic Convergence define CiU as a independentist political force. 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.

On the other hand, the Christian democratic part of the coalition, the Democratic Union of Catalonia
Democratic Union of Catalonia
The Democratic Union of Catalonia is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. Together with the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia, it is part of the Convergence and Union coalition.It describes itself as Catalan nationalist and Christian Democrat....

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

Terms of office


At the Catalan level, CiU ruled the autonomous Catalan government
Generalitat
Generalitat is the name of the autonomous systems of government of two of the present Spanish autonomous communities: Catalonia and the Valencian Community. The term is also used for the government of the semi-autonomous comarca of Val d'Aran, the Generalitat a l'Aran.Generalitat refers to all...

 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
Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida
Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida is a Spanish politician. A qualified lawyer, Duran began his political career when he was elected MP in the General Elections of Spain in 1979, representing Lleida becoming tinent d'alcalde in the municipality of Lleida.Currently Duran is an MP for Barcelona district,...

. It then served in opposition to a tripartite centre-left
Centre-left
Centre-left is a political term that describes individuals, political parties or organisations such as think tanks whose ideology lies between the centre and the left on the left-right spectrum...

 government of the Socialists' Party of Catalonia
Socialists' Party of Catalonia
The Socialists' Party of Catalonia is a social-democratic political party in Catalonia, Spain resulting from the merge of two parties PSC Reagrupament led by Josep Pallach i Carolà and PSC Comgres. It is the Catalan referent of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party , and its Aranese section is...

 (PSC), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the Initiative for Catalonia Greens
Initiative for Catalonia Greens
Initiative for Catalonia Greens is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. It was formed as a merger of Iniciativa per Catalunya and Els Verds. IC had been an alliance led by Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya and was the equivalent of Izquierda Unida in Catalonia...

 (ICV) until November 2010, when it regained power (but lacking an overall majority, still needing a coalition partner).

2008 Spanish elections


The party won 10 seats in the Spanish national Congress of Deputies at the March 2008 elections
Spanish general election, 2008
Legislative elections for the Spanish Cortes Generales were held on March 9, 2008. The elections were for 350 seats in the Congress of Deputies, and the 208 directly elected seats in the upper house, the Senate, determining the Prime Minister of Spain...

.

CiU supported changes to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia provides Catalonia's basic institutional regulations. It defines the rights and obligations of the citizens of Catalonia , the political institutions of the Catalan nationality, their competences and relations with the rest of Spain, and the financing of the...

 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
Catalan Parliament election, 2006
Elections to the Parliament of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain, were held on November 1, 2006.-Background:The November 2006 Catalan parliament election was an early one...

, 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. 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
Socialists' Party of Catalonia
The Socialists' Party of Catalonia is a social-democratic political party in Catalonia, Spain resulting from the merge of two parties PSC Reagrupament led by Josep Pallach i Carolà and PSC Comgres. It is the Catalan referent of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party , and its Aranese section is...

 were considered the biggest losers, holding only 28 seats of their former 37. All other parties lost support, as well, except the conservative People's Party of Catalonia
People's Party of Catalonia
The People's Party of Catalonia is a centre-right political party in Catalonia, Spain. It is the Catalan affiliate of the Spanish People's Party.-External links:...

, which increased its support by 1.5%, and the Citizens' Party which maintained their position.

External links