The Catalan National Assembly: a civil society organization to achieve the independence of Catalonia

Since the restoration of democracy in Spain and the devolution of limited self-rule to Catalonia, the main Catalan political parties have always been supportive of efforts to consolidate democracy and to socially and economically modernize the Spanish State. Their involvement in Spain’s governance has been evidenced by their support for different minority governments in Madrid, especially when faced with big challenges like the accession to the EU or the adoption of the Euro.

In 2005, given a number of deficiencies in the relationship between Catalonia and Spain’s government -when Spain’s democracy was seen as fully consolidated and the country was featured as one of the EU’s best examples of social and economic success- 89% of the MPs of the Catalan Parliament supported a reformed Statute of Autonomy so as to consolidate Catalonia’s self-rule and finally find a comfortable fit for Catalonia within the Spanish State.

The lack of an appropriate  response from the main Spanish political parties to this proposal is probably the main reason why many Catalans  then demanded a new deal.

In 2009 the first symbolic vote on independence was held in the small town of Arenys de Munt. Hundreds of other Catalan municipalities followed suit, and Barcelona finally closed the round in 2011 with a poll that gathered 200.000 voters. These polls were organised by local civic associations, often with support from members of parties. That massive undertaking laid the grounds for the foundation of the ANC in 2012.