The Catalan Observatory is a programme established in 2009 within the European Institute of the London School of Economics. It is sponsored by private and public sources, and it is independently run. Initially, the LSE and the Patronat Catalunya Món (later Diplocat), belonging to the Generalitat de Catalunya, signed an agreement to create the Catalan Observatory in June 2009. Simultaneously, bilateral agreements were equally signed between the LSE and other institutions and companies, such as Abertis Infraestructuras S.A., Foment del Treball Nacional, Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, Mediaproducción S.L., Societat Econòmica Barcelonesa d'Amics del País, and Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona "la Caixa", all of which contributed to consolidate this project. In 2011, the Ajuntament de Barcelona joined the programme, developing a new exciting 'Barcelona Project' within the Observatory. From 2012 to 2015, the project continued with the Fundació Mies van der Rohe-Barcelona.
The Catalan Observatory at the LSE serves as a platform to foment knowledge and encourage debate about the achievements of and the issues facing Catalan civil society. Its main goals are the projection of Catalonia and its prominent actors in an international context, as well as the promotion, research, debate, and dissemination of the key issues relevant to Catalonia today.
The activities organized by the Catalan Observatory include lectures, conferences and symposia, and the publication of research monographs and reports on specific issues. Also the Catalan Observatory receives visiting researchers, who are offered the facilities of the London School of Economics through the Cañada Blanch Centre.