Forty-one years after the abolition of Franco from Catalonia's political and national institutions, the people of Catalonia saw the restoration of a democratically elected Parliament, Government and President. President Pujol formed a coalition government between his party, Covergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) and Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC). In 1984 a third party was incorporated, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), in coalition until 1987.
In a context of major change spurred by the end of the dictatorship, the tensions of the cold war and the phenomenon which has later become known as globalisation, Catalonia recovered official and civil institutions which had been done away with or ill-fated during the times of Franco, it entered into a process of modernisation and opened itself up to foreign markets. The Catalan language and culture, repressed for so many years, also became revitalised.
Jordi Pujol was president between 1980 and 2003. Convergència i Unió was the majority force in the Parliament for five terms of office. During Pujol's consecutive terms of office the Catalan autonomy became politically consolidated and Catalonia saw significant modernisation programme.
After the Catalonia Parliamentary elections on 16 November 2003, the Catalonia Socialist Party -Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC-PSOE), ERC -Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and the green party Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds (ICV) reached an agreement to form a coalition government. The Parliamentary agreement between the three forces is known as the Tinell Pact because it was signed in the noble hall of the old Royal Palace of Barcelona. This pact made it possible for the Presidency of the Generalitat to go to the socialist candidate, Pasqual Maragall, who had been mayor of the city of Barcelona from 1982 to 1997. His term of office was marked by a strong impulse in social policies and, particularly, the reform of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The Parliament of Catalonia approved the reform proposal on 30 September 2005. This proposal was negotiated with the Spanish courts. The final resulting text was approved by the people of Catalonia in a referendum held on 18 June 2006 and entered into effect on 9 August of that year.
After the approval of the Statute in 2006, Pasqual Maragall called early elections for 1 November and announced that he would not be running again. He was substituted in his post by José Montilla, who had been the leading socialist candidate. Montilla was invested as president of the Parliament on 23 November 2006, with the votes PSC-CpC, ERC and ICV-EUiA, defending the so-called Entesa Agreement programme, and took possession as the 128th president of the Generalitat on the 28th of that month.
During the 2006-2010 legislature, government initiatives included the 2006 Statute and the related legislative topics and issues of jurisdictional authority which accompanied it, negotiating an agreement for a new financing model, and implementing social policies. Later, starting in the first quarter of 2008, the Government shifted its priorities to fighting the financial crisis, in particular focusing on its effects on Catalan businesses and families.
When the legislature ended on November 28, 2010, Convergence and Union (Convergència i Unió) carried off the new elections to the Parliament of Catalonia with undeniable success, winning 62 of 135 parliamentary seats. Pre-inaugural debate to elect Artur Mas i Gavarró, the candidate to the presidency, took place between December 20-23. Artur Mas was sworn in as President of the Government of Catalonia on December 23, 2010, after the Socialist Party abstained during the second round of voting, and officially commenced his term as President at a ceremony in the Saló de Sant Jordi in the Palau de la Generalitat on December 27, 2010.