Politics & government
Catalonia is an autonomous community and exercises its self-government in the Spanish State in accordance with the Constitution of 1978 and the new Statute of Autonomy, approved in 2006. The Generalitat is the institutional system around which Catalonia's self-government is politically organised and it dates from 1359. It consists of the Parliament, the Presidency, the Government (formed by the Executive Council) and other self-governing institutions such as the Síndic de Greuges (guarantor of the rights and liberties of citizens) and the Sindicatura de Comptes (control of the economic accounts of Catalan public institutions).
The Generalitat has extensive competencies in matters such as education, health, citizen security and civil protection, culture, linguistic policy, industry, urban development, housing, regional politics, transport and the environment, among others. Catalonia has its own police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, which has been covering the full territory since November 1st, 2008. Catalan civil law is applied in legal matters, of historical tradition, the modification of which is the exclusive competence of the Generalitat.
The Catalan Parliament is one of the oldest in Europe: its origins go back to 1283, when Catalan King Peter II the Great lost absolute power, and also needed authorisation from the clergy, aristocracy and representatives of the villages and towns of the country to approve regulations. Les Corts Catalanes, or the Catalan Parliament, integrated by the three estates, is considered to be an authentic medieval parliament.
Source: Government of Catalonia
Further information: Brief introduction to the political institutions of Catalonia
Last updated: 11 November 2015