ICV - Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds
President: Joan Herrera i Torres
General Secretary: Josep Vendrell
Founded: February 1987
Head OffIce: Passatge del Rellotge, 1, 08002 Barcelona
Iniciativa de Catalunya was formed in February 1987 as a federation of the far left parties Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), l'Entesa dels Nacionalistes d'Esquerra (ENE) and Partit dels Comunistes de Catalunya (PCC) and also included independent members and people from other grassroots movements.
The main impulse for the creation of Iniciativa came from PSUC, the most important of the Catalan communist parties during Franco's dictatorship. The idea was not only to rebuild the communist movement, which had been badly hit by internal crises and changes in attitudes in the early 1980s, but also to create an umbrella organisation for left wing and progressive tendencies.
Just as PSUC had autonomy in Catalonia but was loyal to the the Partido Comunista de España, Iniciativa de Catalunya followed the Izquierda Unida party line when it came to policy at a Spanish national level.
The formation's first leader was Rafel Ribó, who had been General Secretary of PSUC. Reasonably soon PCC members left Iniciativa but slowly PSUC and ENE ceded powers and Iniciativa became a fully-fledged political party in 1997.
The Iniciativa per Catalunya-Els Verds (IC-EV) coalition first stood together for the 1995 Catalan parliamentary elections, when Els Verds (Confederació Ecologista de Catalunya), the Green Party, joined the communists.
However, as a result of the coalition Iniciativa began to question its communist ideology, which led to a break with Izquierda Unida in 1997 with PCC and a sector of PSUC leaving the formation again. These two groups went on to form Esquerra Unida i Alternativa (EUiA).
At the same time, there were differences of opinion amongst Els Verds, leading to splits on that side of the coalition as well.
With the Iniciativa de Catalunya-Els Verds coalition consolidated, ICV wanted to create a new political project based on post-communist values and ecological concerns and the party decided to refine itself as Ecosocialist.
In 2000, Joan Saura replaced Rafel Ribó as leader of ICV and the party recovered its relationship with EUiA. In 2003, Iniciativa de Catalunya-Verds joined the Tripartit coalition that overned Catalonia first under Pasqual Maragall (20003-2006) and then under José Montilla (2006-2010).
In 2008, Joan Herrera was elected Secretary General and in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia of 2010, the coalition ICV-EUiA obtained 8 seats and was the fourth force in Catalan politics behind CiU, PSC and PP.
Following the massive pro-independence demonstration of September 11th, Artur Mas called early elections and ICV campaigned in favour of the right to hold a referendum but against full out independence for Catalonia. The party dropped to fifth place behind CiU, ERC, PSC and PP but gained two more seats (10) and a higher proportion of the vote due in part to a decline in support for PSC.
Throughout the legislature, ICV have continued campaigning for the Right to Decide and were officially in favour of a Si-No vote in the Participative process on November 9th 2014.
ICV-EUiA will be campaigning in coalition with new left-wing formation Guanyem in the Municipal Elections in May 2015 and in the elections for the Parliament of Catalonia planned for September, the party's position is not completely clear.
The leadership are likely to favour some kind of left-wing coalition, possibly with Podemos, but many of the rank and file are in favour of independence for Catalonia so might be drawn towards Esquerra Republicana or CUP.