The Parliament of Catalonia
is the unicameral
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...
legislature of 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...
. It is formed by 135 members ("diputats"), who are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of Catalonia
The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia is the head of government of Catalonia. The president leads the executive branch of the regional government....
, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four constituencies, being this the Catalan provinces. The Parliament building is located in the Ciutadella park.
The most recent parliamentary elections
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:...
were held on November 28, 2010. The Centre-Left coalition Government, made up of 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), Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and 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), lost 22 seats, while the Centre-Right parties, Convergence and Union (CiU) and People's Party
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), gained a combined 18 seats. CiU now controls 62 of 135 seats, more than twice what any other party holds, but they have yet to negotiate a coalition deal to reach a 68 seat majority.
Also, Catalan Solidarity for Independence (SI), which is a new 2010 electoral coalition of six Catalan independentist
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...
Minor party is a political party that play a smaller role than a major party in a country's politics and elections. The difference between minor and major parties can be so big that the membership total, donations, and the candidates that they are able to produce or attract are very distinct...
, entered parliament for the first time. They elected 4 deputies to the chamber, making them the 6th largest party.
The first representative and legislative bodies in Catalonia were the
Sanctuary and Truce Assemblies (assemblees de pau i treva
which the earliest record dates from 1027. These were originally
ad hoc, local meetings convened by the Church—Oliba
Oliva was the count of Berga and Ripoll and later bishop of Vic and abbot of Sant Miquel de Cuixà. He was the son of a noble Catalan house who abdicated his secular possessions to take up the Benedictine habit in the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll...
Bishop of Vic (died 1046) was a notable instigator—but
progressively became subsumed into the court of the
Counts of Barcelona. The first Catalan
legal code, the Usatges de Barcelona
, was promulgated by
Count Ramon Berenguer I based on the decisions of these Assemblies.
Although the Counts of Barcelona, Kings of Aragón
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...
had greatly extended the territory under their control, their financial and
military power was quite limited, partly because of their
former status as vassals of the Carolingian dynasty. Their personal
resources were particularly insufficient in periods of
economic crisis or military expansion, of which they were many
from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. The need to secure
troops and revenue led to the steady expansion of the royal court and a
formalisation of its procedures. It came to be referred to as the
Corts general de Catalunya
or Corts catalanes
, and was endowed with formal
procedures—effectively a written constitution—by King
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...
The Corts catalanes
were composed of three estates (tres braços
representing the Church, the feudal nobles and the citizens of
Royal towns such as Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...
Girona is a city in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain at the confluence of the rivers Ter, Onyar, Galligants and Güell, with an official population of 96,236 in January 2009. It is the capital of the province of the same name and of the comarca of the Gironès...
Inhabitants of feudal towns (e.g. Cardona
Cardona is a town ìn Catalonia, Spain, in the province of Barcelona; about 90 km northwest of the city of Barcelona, on a hill almost surrounded by the river Cardoner, a branch of the Llobregat.Near the town is an extensive deposit of rock salt...
) were not represented, except
by their overlords. The main function of the Corts
legislative, either in approving laws proposed by the King
) or at their own initiative (capítols de cort
Although the Corts
met at irregular intervals—as
often as the Crown needed to find new resources—they also
formally approved the acts of the King between their sessions
(known as pragmàtiques
) and, from 1359, established a
permanent delegation to oversee the Crown (forerunner of the
Generalitat de Catalunya
The Generalitat of Catalonia is the institution under which the autonomous community of Catalonia is politically organised. It consists of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia....
). The Corts catalanes
abolished by the Nueva Planta decrees
The Nueva Planta decrees were a number of decrees signed between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V—the first Bourbon king of Spain—during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession which he won....
There were several attempts in the early twentieth century to
institute an autonomous system of representation for Catalonia.
The Commonwealth of Catalonia (1914–25) was an
assembly of the provincial delegations of Barcelona
Barcelona is a province of eastern Spain, in the center of the autonomous community of Catalonia.-Overview:It is bordered by the provinces of Tarragona, Lleida, and Girona, and by the Mediterranean Sea....
Girona is a province of north-eastern Spain, in the northern part of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Barcelona and Lleida, and by France and the Mediterranean Sea....
thumb|250px|Monastery of [[Santa Maria de Bellpuig de les Avellanes]].Lleida is a province of north-eastern Spain, in the western part of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, Zaragoza and Huesca and the countries of France and...
Tarragona is a province of eastern Spain, in the southern part of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is bordered by the provinces of Castellón, Teruel, Zaragoza, Lleida, Barcelona, and the Mediterranean Sea....
abolished by Primo de Rivera
Primo de Rivera is a Spanish family prominent in politics of the 19th and 20th centuries:*Fernando Primo de Rivera, Spanish politician and soldier, 1831-1921*Miguel Primo de Rivera , dictator of Spain from 23 September 1923 to 1930...
. After an abortive declaration of
a Catalan Republic in 1931, a separate Parliament of Catalonia was
established under the first Statute of Autonomy
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...
and elected in 1932. This Parliament was suspended between 1934 and 1936, and
abolished by Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...
in 1938. The first legislature of
the current Parliament of Catalonia was elected in 1980.
- To elect the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
- To pass the Catalan legislation in the business of its competence.
- To pass the Budget of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia.
- To control the action of the Government of Catalonia
The Government of Catalonia is the executive branch of the Generalitat de Catalunya. It is responsible for the political action, reglamentation and administration of the Generalitat....
and the autonomous agencies, public companies and all other bodies answerable to it.