Parlament Passes Book III Of The Civil Code Of Catalonia

27 June 2008

On April 16, the whole of the Catalonian Parliament approved the bill ´Book III of the Civil Code of Catalonia´ which regulates associations and foundations. The Book contains the basic Statute of the legal person in Catalan law, updates its legal system and redrafts Laws 7/1997 and 5/2001.

With the new text, associations and foundations increase their independence with respect to the Authorities and are subject to greater control by its members. The most significant changes are seen in heading III, concerning foundations. The modifications hope to guarantee the viability of future foundations, as long as they are of general interest.

Specifically, the need to separate the functions of the government and the day-to-day management in foundations having a specific relevance is established, with the aim of promoting the professionalism of the management, thus reaffirming the sovereign and independent position of the body with respect to the government.

In this way, the control capacity of the foundation supervisory commission is redefined, whose previously required authorisation will no longer be obligatory for the acts of disposal of personal property of exceptional value, real estate or commercial establishments, despite the fact that to make decisions the directors must have an external audit and an independent economic assessment.

The last point that stands out in the modifications is the establishment of a minimum quantity for the initial funding of the foundation (60,000 Euros) and the requirement that the foundation documentation be accompanied by an economic feasibility plan. It is anticipated, however, that there will be the possibility of creating temporary foundations, which then will later be reconverted to permanent ones if, within a maximum timeframe of five years, the funding is increased.

This text was published in the DOGC (Official Journal of the Catalan Parliament) on May 2, 2008 (DOCG no. 5,123), and in accordance with its Final Provision 5ª, will come into force within a period of 3 months of its publication (August 2, 2008).

Currently in Catalonia there are 2,278 foundations in existence, a number that represents 25% of the total number of foundations in the State, of which 1,083 are cultural foundations, 846 assistance-orientated, 261 educational and 88 scientific.

For more information please contact Lara Campanario Ciaurri or Iván Mateo Borge: lcampanario@mmmm.es
imateo@mmmm.es