The Confederation of the Pyrenees, Pyrene Republic, is a federal republic comprised of seven autonomous republics in western Europe. The federation is loose unlike the Swiss or Ladish Confederations and is mainly an economic federation. Each county retains its own legislation and government. The republics lie along the Pyrenees Mountains between France, Armagnac, Aragon and Castile. There is no official unitary capital, though Iruña is the largest city and, as well as acting as Navarre's capital, hosts a many of the inter-governmental bodies.
The seven republics are (west to east): Navarre, Zuberoa, Bearn, Bigorre, Comminges, Foix and Andorra.
By the founding principles of the Confederation all members grant equal weigh to the three main languages; Basque (more dominant in Navarre and Zuberoa but also spoken widely in Bearn and Bigorre), Catalan (Andorra is essentially monolingual) and Occitan (dominant in Foix and Comminges, widely spoken in Bearn and Bigorre).
The history of the seven republics is varied but they were all reconstituted in one way or another after the upheaval of the Iberian Revolution.
Zuberoa (or Soule), Bigorre, and Comminges were all viscounties within the Duchy of Gascony, itself a part of the Kingdom of Aquitaine. Following the Albigensian War Aquitainian authority effectively fell apart and Gascony only briefly held together as a single entity. Whilst the north of Gascony coalesced under Armagnac the other small counties fought amongst themselves and their larger neighbours, or were swallowed by inheritance, until only the three mentioned remained independent.
Navarre was a medieval kingdom, and one of the last remaining Visigothic entities in Iberia following the Islamic conquest of much of the peninsula. After Aragon split away in 1035 Navarre lost its access to the escalating 'Reconquista' and instead merely fought Aquitaine for various coastal towns. King Alfonso I planned to turn the kingdom over to the Knights Templar on his death but instead it was seized and split by Castile and Aragon. Coastal Navarre would become Castilian property whilst the interior's independence was restored. Foix was a vassal of Toulouse, receiving its independence as Toulouse was swallowed up piecemeal by Aragon and escaped a similar fate after Count Peter II inherited the throne of Navarre in 1458.
Bearn was also a part of Gascony but was inherited by Navarre-Foix in 1464 and was ruled in union until King James II unwisely backed Castile during the San Javier War (1762-1767) and the county would be transferred to Aragonese rule. A prior agreement between Aragon and France over their respective spheres of influence, was invoked and this stopped it being annexed outright.
Andorra was an odd co-principality, ruled jointly by the Counts of Foix and the Bishop of Urgell. Both offices still retain purely ceremonial roles as heads of state. Supposedly boasting the healthiest population in Europe, Andorra has become a tourist destination with skiing and spas increasingly popular, especially with the middle classes of Aragon.
The states found themselves fundamentally altered by the experience of the Hispanic Revolution. Navarre was conquered and annexed to the newly formed Hispania in 1822. The remaining Pyrenean states were conquered in 1824. The local rulers were outlawed, their possessions confiscated and republican governments installed. Later that year all the new republics (including the two formed from conquered Armagnac) were combined to create a single 'Pyrene Republic'. Initial enthusiasm for the new freedoms and ideology soon petered out as military service, continued invasion and central government riding roughshod over old arrangements, all served to destablise the region and foster revolt.
In the Congress of Milan which followed the war, all of the previous rulers were restored to their thrones but only the returning king of Navarre, Henri VII, managed to hold on to power for any length of time. The others were mostly deposed in a series of popular revolts and the once-more republic governments banded together to support each other's economies. When Foix revolted during this initial wave, Henri VII attempted to stir Aragon into helping restore it but Aragon decided the monetary and diplomatic cost and was not worth the effort. He would marshal a Navarrese army in 1848 but this campaign was an ignominious failure and in fact helped to ruin Navarre's already perilous finances. His successor, Queen Madeleine, would sign a treaty with the republican government in Foix giving up executive power in return for a purely ceremonial governmental role and a few estates. Navarre itself would eventually revolt against Madeleine's son, John III, in 1856 after he attempted to seize absolute rule. Armagnac had already fought a war (First Pyrenean War (1856)) with Comminges and Bigorre over their respective borders and seized a substantial portion of land from the two. With Navarre's addition to the Confederation many sought to reverse the losses and the Second Pyrenean War (1858-59) was closely fought. Eventually France and Aragon stepped in to enforce peace with minor gains for Armagnac.
In the 1910s there were discussions for Armagnac to become a member, however it was eventually decided, due to Armagnac's size and monarchy, it would not fit well with the federation as it was and therefore discussions were terminated.
The seven republics maintain their own governments and election cycles, all being governed by single-chambered parliaments.
The cross border council is elected by a general election every four years with equal representation from each member state. It is chaired by a President who acts as Head of State for the confederation and appoints various governmental bodies to act on behalf of the seven states. The Navarese Mikel Arconada is the current president of the council.