Catalan Independence Process Timeline (2010-2017)


  • June 2010
    Constitutional court ruling overturns many key elements of the Statute of Autonomy which had been approved in a referendum in 2006 after being approved by both Catalan and Spanish parliaments.
  • July 2010
    1 million march against the constitutional court ruling. Chants for independence, previously a minority position in Catalan society, dominate the march.
    The Catalan parliament, on the basis of a consensus including all parties, except PP, puts forward a proposal for a fiscal deal with the Spanish government.

  • September 2012
    11 September pro-independence demonstration gathers between 600,000 (Spanish government data) and 1.5 million (Catalan government data) participants.
    Catalan Prime Minister, Artur Mas, meets Rajoy and presents his fiscal deal proposal. Rajoy refuses to discuss it.
    The Catalan Parliament passes a resolution requesting a referendum on independence.
  • November 2012
    New elections after Spanish government refuses to discuss fiscal deal. Catalan ruling party, CiU, now favourable to independence. New majority in parliament favourable to independence: CiU + ERC + CUP. Consultation on independence is core to new government program.

  • January 2013
    Catalan parliament Declaration on sovereignty and “right to decide” supported by 85 out of 135 MPs. It was subsequently overturned by the constitutional court.
  • March 2013
    Catalan parliament resolution granting Catalonia capacity to engage with Spanish government in bilateral dialogue. Spanish government takes resolution to constitutional court.
  • September 2013
    11 September pro-independence demonstration: A human chain was formed spanning 400 km in which between 800,000 and 1,6 million people participated asking for independence.

  • January 2014
    Catalan parliament votes request (87/135 votes in favor) to Spanish parliament to permit a non-binding consultation on independence before the end of the year.
  • April 2014
    Spanish parliament 299/350 votes against Catalan consultation request.
  • September 2014
    11 September pro-independence protest in Barcelona gathered between 500,000 (Spanish government data) and 1,8 million (Catalan government data) participants.
    Catalan parliament passes Law on Consultations 95/135 (including support of Socialist Party)
    96,2% of Catalan municipalities pass motions in favour of consultation.
    Consultation is announced by Catalan government and immediately suspended by Constitutional Court.
    Alternative consultation announced -to be without participation of civil servants and other modifications to keep within Spanish law.
    Constitutional Court suspends new proposal.
  • November 2014
    Alternative consultation is held.
    Turnout is 2.3 million with 80% voting in favor of independence.
  • December 2014
    State prosecutor charges Catalan Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister with embezzlement, disobedience, prevarication and usurpation of functions in relation to November consultation.

  • January 2015
    Catalan government announces snap election for September. Election is to be plebiscitary given impossibility of holding referendum. 
    Pro-independence parties (except anti-capitalist CUP) to present a single list of candidates together with civil society activists and personalities.
  • September 2015
    11 September pro-independence demonstration gathers an estimated 900,000.
    Elections deliver inconclusive results: 
    Pro-independence parties: 47.2% of votes and 72/135 seats in parliament.
    Against-independence parties:  41.5% of votes and 52/135 seats in parliament
    Pro-sovereignty but no position on independence party (CSQP): 9% of votes and 11/135 seats

  • September 2016
    Pro-independence demonstration: 800,000 participants in Barcelona and other Catalan cities.

  • 6 September 2017
    Laws on referendum and legal transition adopted by Catalan parliament by a narrow majority amidst much criticism from non-independentist parties due to “unlawfulness” of parliamentary procedure followed. These laws are rapidly suspended by Spanish Constitutional Court.
  • 9 September 2017. El Vallenc newspaper raided by Spanish police searching for referendum-linked materials.
  • 11 September pro-independence demonstration: 1 million participants in Barcelona.
  • 14 September. 700 Catalan mayors to be questioned in court over local pro-independence resolutions.
  • 16 September. Numerous printing presses in Catalonia raided by Spanish police.
  • 20 September. Catalan government ministries are raided, 14 Catalan senior government officials arrested. A peaceful protest follows in front of Ministry for the Economy, where Guardia Civil vehicles are abandoned, surrounded by the crowd for 12 hours. They ultimately suffer some damages.
  • 20 September. Spanish government takes control of Catalan government bank accounts
  • 21 September. 10 million ballots seized by Spanish police.
  • 26 September. 140 websites closed by Guardia Civil.
  • 28 September. Spanish police reinforcements sent to Catalonia reach 10,000 figure.

  • 1 October 2017
    Referendum is held. Spanish riot police attack polling stations and voters. By the end of day the recount stands as follows:
    Participation: 2,286,217 voters (43% census)
    Yes vote: 2,044,038 (90.18%)
    No vote: 177,547 (7.83%)
    Blank: 44,913 (1.98%)
    Over 900 voters injured by police (medically certified).
    Polling stations where 700,000 voters were registered were closed by the police.

Catalan crisis timeline: September 2017 to present

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