What, by the spring of 2013, had simply become known as "The Process" took an important step forward with creation of the Assessory Council for National Transition on February 12th 2013 and with the constitution of the National Pact for the Right to Decide in July of the same year. The first created reports on how to move the independence process forward and plan Catalonia's future as a separate sovereign state whilst the second brought together more than 1,500 bodies, all of which were in favour of the right to decide.
The Consell Assessor per a la Transició Nacional (CATN) was created on
February 12th 2013 with the main task of analysing the factors involved in
taking Catalonia towards becoming an independent state. It was presided by the
former Constitutional Court judge Carles Viver i Pi-Sunyer and comprised an
impressive array of academic lawyers, economists, political scientists and
international relations experts as well as key people from business and
journalism. The Catalan government described them as "people of recognised
prestige in different disciplines who are willing to bring their expertise,
qualifications and personal prestige, with objective of, as the decree of the
creation of this body establishes, identifying and promoting structures of
state, and all of the aspects necessary to bring about the consultation on the
future political status of Catalonia".
Its job was to analyse and identify all the legal options open to the independence process, advise the Generalitat on key structures needed in order for the future independent Catalan government and institutions to work, propose initiatives that would help to spread the Catalan arguments amongst the international community and also advise the Generalitat on how to guarantee the success of the process.
The Assessory Council for National Transition's first report was "The consultation on the political future of Catalonia" was published in July 2013. It concluded that a referendum on Catalan independence was legally possible within Spanish law according to Articles 9' and 150.2 of the Spanish Constitution. Over the following year, the Council produced another 17 reports covering all aspects of the future Catalan State from the Catalan Treasury and Social Security systems to future commercial relations between Catalonia and Spain, internal security or a Catalan State's requirements as far as water, gas and electricity were concerned. One of the Council's most controversial reports covered all the arguments as to why a future Catalan Republic would remain in the European Union despite the Spanish government's claims to the contrary.
In the September 2014, the White Paper on the National Transition of Catalonia was published and independence process had a detailed roadmap laid out comprising 18 reports, which ran to over 1,400 pages of text. Virtually every aspect of the process of creating a Catalan Republic had been covered.
The first consultative meeting of the Pacte Nacional pel Dret de Decidir or the National Pact for the Right to Decide took place in the auditorium of the Parliament of Catalonia on June 26th 2013. The first meeting included 40 representatives of government and municipal institutions, all the political parties in favour of the right to decide, trades unions and employers associations, key professional bodies as well as representatives from the ANC, Òmnium Cultural and the Associació de Municipis per la Independència, the civil groups behind the grassroots pro-independence movement. By the time the National Pact for the Right to Decide was constituted on September 16th 2013, 800 organisations had joined and the number would ultimately reach more than 1,500 groups and institutions.
Less of a policy-making body than the Advisory Council, the National Pact's main purpose was as a place for debate and discussion on the right to decide, where all groups in favour of a referendum on Catalan independence could have their say. With so many organisations involved it also meant that strategic information could quickly reach all sections of Catalan society.
Between them, the Assessory Council for National Transition and the National Pact for the Right to Decide guaranteed the coherence of the next stage in the process and oversaw the lead up to the holding of the consultation.