Autonomous Communities of Spain
As autonomous communities ( Spanish Comunidades Autónomas , abbreviated CCAA) 17 regional authorities are called that represent regions of Spain . Article 2 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 stated that the Spanish nation is composed of "nationalities and regions". Accordingly, the autonomous communities were autonomy statutes competencies in legislation and enforcement assured. Which rights these statutes confirm in each case differ from community to community.
Title VIII of the Spanish Constitution regulated in Articles 143 and 151 the formation and existence of the 17 regions of Spain. Seven of the 17 autonomous regions consist of only one province, the rest of several (up to nine) provinces . There are also the two “autonomous cities” ( ciudades autónomas ) Ceuta and Melilla .
Even after the unification of Spain under a monarchy through the marriage of the Catholic Kings (1469), the individual kingdoms of the crowns of Castile-León , Aragon and Navarre retained their own legal systems, institutions and administrations. These were only abolished at the beginning of the 18th century under the Bourbons and Spain was organized as a central state on the basis of the Castilian legal system (with continued special foral rights for Navarre and the Basque territories). This remained until the Second Republic (1931-1939).
Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia (1932) and the Basque Country (1936) came into force during the Second Republic . The Statute of Autonomy for Galicia was also adopted by referendum in this region, but no longer came into force because of the outbreak of civil war .
Under the Franco dictatorship (1936–1975) the autonomies were abolished and the aspirations for autonomy were rigidly suppressed up to the prohibition of the use of the Catalan , Basque and Galician languages in public.
The provinces existed as territorial structures with a purely administrative function since 1833.
After Franco's death , the transition to democracy ( transición ) began, with the restoration of the autonomy rights from before the Franco dictatorship being one of the main points of contention. The views ranged from maintaining the unitary state to establishing a federal system to striving for independence in the Basque Country and Catalonia.
In the first free elections to the Cortes Generales in 1977 , the regional parties (in Spanish usage: “nationalists”) in Catalonia and the Basque Country achieved high proportions of votes (Catalonia: PDPC, UDC and EC-FED together 27% of the vote and 14 of 47 seats; Basque Country: PNV and EE together 35% and 9 out of 21 seats.)
Under the influence of these results, the government issued a legislative decree initially for Catalonia (September 1977) and the Basque Country (January 1978) with provisional autonomy regulations (“pre-autonomies”). In order to put the special position of these two parts of the country into perspective, pre-autonomies were set up in a further eleven regions (Galicia, Aragon , Canary Islands , Valencia , Andalusia , Balearic Islands , Extremadura , Castile-León , Asturias , Murcia and Castile-La Mancha) from March to October 1978 ).
The formation of the pre-autonomies took place parallel to the process of drafting the new democratic constitution.
Article 2 of the Constitution of December 29, 1978 reads:
"The constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible fatherland of all Spaniards, and recognizes and guarantees the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions that are part of the nation and solidarity between them."
Thus, a middle ground between the extreme positions - unitary state on the one hand and federal state on the other - was chosen, the "state of autonomies" ( Estado autonómico ) . The elaboration of this principle in Articles 143 to 158 of the Constitution represents a minimal consensus of conflicting interests. It is not a detailed, final regulation, but rather the specification of a flexible framework for future, ultimately open development.
This begins with the fact that the autonomous communities are not constituted by the constitution itself, but only the process of their later formation is regulated. The already existing “pre-autonomies” (see above) were not updated, but a different structure was also conceivable. There is also no final distribution of competencies between the state and the autonomous communities, but this remains reserved for the statutes of autonomy to be adopted later.
Theoretically, according to the constitution, completely "autonomy-free" parts of the country are just as conceivable as the coexistence of autonomous communities with purely executive powers and those with extensive legislative powers as well as the area-wide division of the national territory into powerful autonomous communities in which the state only has its own competences exclusively assigned by the constitution remain.
In the vote on this constitution on December 6, 1978, however, almost half of all voters in the Basque Country voted no or did not even go to the polls. Across Spain, on the other hand, participation was two-thirds, of which 87% had agreed.
Distribution of competencies
The distribution of competences between the state and the autonomous communities results from the statutes of autonomy, which determine which competences the respective region assumes. The constitution provides the following framework for this:
Art. 149.1 contains a list of the areas of competence reserved exclusively for the state.
In all other areas, the Autonomous Communities can assume executive and legislative powers, provided that their respective statutes of autonomy so provide. Art. 148.1 contains a list of those areas of competence which the Autonomous Communities can (do not have to) take over when they are first constituted. This initial restriction does not apply to the “fast track” Autonomous Communities, for which only the limit of Art. 149 applies when they are founded. The remaining Autonomous Communities can only acquire competences other than those provided for in Art. 148.1 after five years have elapsed since their constitution through reform of the respective Statute of Autonomy.
Since both the initial adoption of the Statute of Autonomy and its reform require the approval of the state organic law, the definition of the distribution of competences is a process in which both the respective autonomous community and the state are involved and thus ultimately requires a consensus on both levels .
The distribution of competences between the state and the individual autonomous communities therefore results from a synopsis of the constitution and the statutes of autonomy, which in legal parlance in this context are collectively referred to as bloque de constitucionalidad .
In the implementation of this competency order, three competency levels have emerged in the statutes of autonomy for the various subject areas:
- exclusive competence: the legislative and executive branches lie with the autonomous community;
- “Shared” competence: the Autonomous Community can fill in the framework legislation of the state through its own laws, and it is also entitled to implement it through its administrations;
- pure enforcement competence: the autonomous community is only responsible for the implementation of state laws through its administrations.
For example, Aragon has exclusive authority in the field of consumer protection, “shared” authority in the field of environmental protection and only enforcement authority in the field of occupational safety.
According to Article 149 of the Constitution, the judiciary is reserved for the state. Unlike in Germany, where all courts - with the exception of the federal courts - are regional courts , i.e. are sponsored by the Länder, in Spain all courts are sponsored by the (central) state and not by the autonomous communities. The Spanish model is in agreement with the Austrian model, which also only knows courts of the central state.
Finally, according to Art. 150, the state can also transfer or delegate state powers to the autonomous communities outside the system of the Statute of Autonomy by means of individual statutes.
Formation of the Autonomous Communities
According to Article 143.1 of the Constitution, the following can be constituted as autonomous communities:
- neighboring provinces with common historical, cultural and economic conditions
- the island areas (Balearic and Canary Islands)
- Individual provinces with their own regional-historical identity
The constitutional process differs according to whether the aim is to achieve “full autonomy” from the start without being restricted to the competence matters of Art. 148.1 (see above) (so-called “fast way”) or not (so-called “slow way”). As for the process itself, the formation of an Autonomous Community of the “fast way” is more cumbersome than one of the “slow way”.
A distinction is made between the initiative phase and the phase of drawing up the Statute of Autonomy:
The initiative phase only consists in taking decisions to form an autonomous community consisting of one or more provinces. In order to take the “slow road”, the relevant decisions must be taken by the representative bodies of all the provinces that are to form the future region and by two thirds of the communes concerned with at least half of the inhabitants of each province (Art. 143.2). For the "fast way" are necessary: Resolutions of the representative bodies of all provinces, which are to form the later region, and of three quarters of the affected municipalities with at least half of the inhabitants of each province and confirmation of the initiative in a referendum with a majority in each of the provinces (Art. 151.1). For regions with pre-autonomy regulation (see above), the following simplifications apply: in the case of the “slow path”, a resolution by the representative body of the pre-autonomy can replace the approval of the provinces (but not that of the municipalities); in the case of the “quick route”, in the regions in which a statute of autonomy was already adopted in a referendum under the Second Republic (i.e. Catalonia, Basque Country and Galicia), all that is needed is a resolution by their respective representative body, which has the approval of the provinces, municipalities and the Referendum replaced. In both cases, the initiative has failed and can only be repeated after five years if the requirements are not met within six months (counting from the first relevant decision).
The draft of the Statute of Autonomy is then drawn up by a special assembly which, in the case of the “quick route”, consists of the deputies and senators of the Cortes Generales elected in the provinces concerned and , in the case of the slow route, additionally of the members of the representative bodies of the provinces.
In the case of the "slow way", this draft will be dealt with by the chambers of the Cortes Generales (ie the whole Spanish parliament) according to the rules applicable to an organic law (ie changed or adopted unchanged or finally rejected).
In the case of the “fast track”, the draft of the Statute of Autonomy is forwarded to the Constitutional Committee of the House of Representatives, which advises it together with a delegation from the Assembly that had drafted the draft, with the aim of reaching an agreement on possible points of dispute. If these deliberations result in an agreement on a final version, this will be submitted to a referendum in the provinces concerned, with a majority in each of the provinces required for adoption; Finally, both chambers of the Cortes Generales then have to ratify the draft (i.e. accept or reject it unchanged, without the possibility of changes). If the constitutional committee and the delegation of the deputies and senators of the provinces concerned cannot agree on a joint draft, the original proposal will be dealt with by the chambers of the Cortes Generales according to the rules applicable to an organic law (i.e. amended or adopted unchanged or finally rejected); the final version passed afterwards then needs to be adopted in a referendum in the provinces concerned, which requires a majority in each of the provinces.
The Autonomous Community only came into being when the Statute of Autonomy came into force.
Statute of Autonomy and its amendment
The Statutes of Autonomy are twofold: on the one hand, as organic laws approved by the Cortes Generales , they are part of the national legal order, on the other hand, as the highest norm, they are part of the legal order of the respective autonomous community and as such take precedence over other legal norms of the autonomous community.
The procedure for changing the Statute of Autonomy at a later date after it has come into force is determined in the Statute itself. In any case, the approval of the Cortes Generales by means of an organic law (Art. 147.3) and, in the Autonomous Communities of the “fast way”, confirmation by a referendum in this is necessary (Art. 152.2).
Internal Constitution of the Autonomous Communities
For the autonomous communities of the “fast way” (see above), Art. 152.1 of the constitution provides that they must have a parliament elected by proportional representation (Asamblea Legislativa), a prime minister elected from among its members and a government headed by this parliament . The details are regulated in the Statutes of Autonomy.
After the agreements of the Autonomy Pact of 1981, this organizational model was also adopted in all other statutes of autonomy.
Senators of the Autonomous Communities
The Senate in Madrid consists of 208 directly elected members and currently 58 members from the Autonomous Communities. The senators appointed by the regions are elected by their parliaments on the basis of proportional representation.
In contrast to the German Bundesrat, for example, it is not the regional governments but the senators elected by the regional parliaments that are represented in this chamber of the Cortes Generales. And this part of the senators only makes up about a fifth of the members of the Senate. The participation of the autonomous communities in national legislation is therefore much less developed than that of the federal states in the German constitutional system.
Creation of the autonomous communities
In the period from 1979 to 1983, the 17 Autonomous Communities were formed when the respective statutes of autonomy came into force, four of them (Catalonia, Basque Country, Galicia, Andalusia) choosing the "fast route" of Art. 151 of the Constitution, the remaining the " slow "Art. 143. a special case Navarra is that his continuing even during the Franco era Foralorgane by the law on the restoration of Foralordnung reformed. Nonetheless, although Navarre has the title of a “formal community”, according to the case law of the Constitutional Court, despite some peculiarities, it has the status of an autonomous community.
The resulting autonomous regions are very heterogeneous. The two smallest regions, the Balearic Islands and La Rioja , are only about 5000 km² in size, while the two largest, Andalusia and Castile-León , are each about 90,000 km² larger than Austria . The population is also very different (301,000 in La Rioja, almost 8.5 million in Andalusia).
Development since 1979
Initially, there was a large skill gap between the “fast track” Autonomous Communities and the rest of the regions. The further development is characterized by a partial alignment of competencies and a gradual expansion of competencies for all Autonomous Communities.
Thus a model prevailed that brought extensive autonomy not only for the historical "nationalities" (Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, limited Navarre, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Andalusia), but also for all regions and that in Spanish usage is often referred to with the catchphrase des café para todos ("coffee for everyone").
Spain is therefore now regarded as one of the most decentralized states in Europe, although - due to the lack of statehood of the autonomous communities - it is not a federal state. One problem that has not yet been fully resolved is in particular the system of financial relations between the state and the autonomous communities, which on the one hand has to take into account the still existing differences in competencies between the individual regions and on the other hand has to understand the general expansion of tasks.
|18th December 1979||Adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia and the Basque Country. Both provide for extensive autonomy, u. a. the formation of own police units.|
|March 1980||Elections in the Basque Country and Catalonia. Nationalist parties achieved high shares of the vote (Basque Country: PNV 38%, HB 17%; Catalonia: CiU 28%, ERC 9%). In these two autonomous communities, the PNV and CiU have remained the strongest party in the regional parliament to this day.|
|April 6, 1981||Adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for Galicia.|
|July 31, 1981||The center-right government and the strongest opposition party, the social democratic PSOE , signed the first autonomy pact in Madrid
(acuerdos autonómicos) in which they agreed on the basis of further development with the aim of harmonizing the autonomy processes:
The Autonomy Pact is an extra-parliamentary agreement without the force of law. However, due to the dominant position of the powers that be, implementation was guaranteed both in Spain as a whole (together over 80% of MEPs) and in the individual regions (except Catalonia and the Basque Country).
|20th October 1981||Elections in Galicia. Election victory of the conservative ( Alianza Popular ) and center-right parties ( UCD ).|
|December 30, 1981||Adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for Andalusia, Asturias and Cantabria.|
|May 23, 1982||Elections in Andalusia. PSOE election victory.|
|June 9, 1982||Adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for La Rioja and Murcia.|
|July 1, 1982||Adoption of the Valencia Statute of Autonomy.|
|August 10, 1982||Adoption of the Statute of Autonomy for Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Canary Islands and the “Law on the restoration of the formal order” (Navarra).|
|August 10, 1982||On the basis of an agreement of the Autonomy Pact of 1981, the Canary Islands and Valencia received further competences going beyond the catalog of Art. 148.1 through a state organic law (transfer within the meaning of Art. 150.2).|
|February 25, 1983||Adoption of the last statutes of autonomy: Extremadura, Balearic Islands, Madrid and Castile-León.|
|May 8, 1983||First elections in the 13 remaining Autonomous Communities.|
|1980-1991||During this time, in the course of the gradual transfer of the competencies provided for in the Statutes of Autonomy, 432,000 administrative jobs were transferred from the state to the Autonomous Communities, which at the beginning of 1992 had a total workforce of 593,000 employees. The share of the regions in total government spending rose from 6 to 21%. Numerous decisions were made by the Constitutional Court on the relationship between the state and the autonomous communities.|
|February 28, 1992||Second Autonomy Pact
on the further development, this time agreed between the PSOE government and the strongest opposition party, the conservative PP . In it, the two leading political parties agreed to expand the competences of the Autonomous Communities of the “slow” way, in particular the transfer of the “shared competence” (see above) in the education system. The Conferencias Sectoriales (comparable to the German ministerial conferences ) were institutionalized as coordination bodies between the state and the regions. The background to this agreement was a. that the strong gaps in competencies between the individual Autonomous Communities in the political and legal fields had proven extremely impractical.
|December 23, 1992||The expansion of competencies agreed in the Second Autonomy Pact was initially implemented by way of a transfer law in accordance with Art. 150.2 of the Constitution.|
|March 24, 1994||By changing the Statute of Autonomy, the new competencies agreed in the Second Autonomy Pact were incorporated into it.|
In the particularly personnel and financial-intensive areas of education and health care, the responsibility for the institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.), including staff, was also transferred to the autonomous communities of the “slow way”. In 2001, the autonomous communities had a workforce of one million, exceeding those in the state sector (600,000 including armed forces, civil guard and police).
|2004-2011||A number of statutes of autonomy (Valencia, Catalonia, Andalusia, Balearic Islands, Aragon, Castile-León and Extremadura) were reformed. The focus was not so much on expanding competencies, but on a more precise delimitation of responsibilities and adaptation to developments that had occurred since the 1990s (relations with the EU , financial relations, etc.). However, there were also controversial issues in the competence area, especially with regard to responsibility for water resources. The draft laws adopted by the regional parliaments of the Canary Islands and Castile-La Mancha to amend their statutes of autonomy were withdrawn by them after it was clear that the extension of powers they envisaged would not find a majority in the Cortes Generales . With regard to the new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, symbolic issues such as the designation as a “nation” were highly controversial. The reform draft passed by the Basque Parliament went the furthest, which envisaged putting the relations between this autonomous community and the state on a completely new basis (principle of "free association", recognition of the right of self-determination of the Basque people; see plan Ibarretxe ). This was rejected by the House of Representatives of the Cortes Generales on February 1, 2005 by 319 votes to 29 (the Basque, Catalan and Galician nationalists: PNV , ERC , CiU , EA , Na-Bai and BNG ).|
In recent years there have been increasing voices calling for a reform of the constitutional regulations governing relations between the state and the autonomous communities. The social democratic PSOE has been advocating conversion into a real federal state since 2013. The open system of competencies in the 1978 constitution, which is based on a compromise, is often criticized as being out of date, and calls for a final definition of the distribution of competencies in the constitution.
Financial relations between the state and the autonomous communities
The financing and distribution of taxes between the State and the Autonomous Communities follow two different models: the general system ( régimen común ) applies to most of the Autonomous Communities, while the foral system ( régimen foral ) applies to the Basque Country and Navarre .
In Navarre, taxes are collected by the Autonomous Community and in the Basque Country by the provinces ( Territorios Históricos ). These then transfer an amount (the so-called cupo ) to compensate for the powers exercised by the state in these autonomous communities. In the régimen foral , the tax legislation is largely in the hands of the Autonomous Communities or Territorios Históricos , as is the tax administration.
In the autonomous communities of the régimen común, on the other hand, tax legislation essentially lies with the state. The taxes are collected by the state tax offices. The autonomous communities then receive from the state the income from taxes collected on their territory in part (in particular 50% of income tax and value added tax) or in full (e.g. wealth tax ). In the régimen común there is also a system of financial equalization , the funds of which are raised by the state and the autonomous communities.
Financial deficits of the regions
In 2011, the regions' budget deficits exploded like never before. The regions have (as of the end of 2011) debts of more than 140 billion euros (plus 17.3% in 2011). The debts in the regions were (as of the end of 2011) as high as 13.1% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of Spain. At the end of 2011, the local authorities' debt was:
(in the Canaries / Balearic Islands: Island Councils)
and other municipal associations ( comarcas , special purpose associations ) or subdivisions (local districts)
(all local authorities)
|region||in € million||in% GDP||per
|in € million||in% GDP||per
|in € million||in% GDP||per
|in € million||in% GDP||per
|Castile and Leon||5,476||9.4||2.140||442||0.8||173||1,069||1.8||418||6,987||12.0||2,730|
Central government debt at the end of 2011 was 560 billion euros (up 14.5% in 2011; 52.1% of GDP; 11,855 euros per capita). This results in a total public debt level of 735 billion euros at this point in time (68.5% of GDP; 15,574 euros per capita). Spain is thus still well below the European average (82.2% of GDP); However, the dynamism with which debt has grown since 2008 is a cause for concern.
On July 20, 2012, the Valencia region was the first to apply for help from the Spanish state. She wants to apply for at least two billion euros. A few days later, Murcia announced that it would be soliciting or applying for low-interest loans (between 200 and 300 million euros) from the recently established state rescue fund Fondo de Liquidez Autonómica (FLA). The FLA is endowed with 18 billion euros.
Up to and including October 2012, a total of eight other regions applied for aid loans: Catalonia , Andalusia , Valencia , Castile-La Mancha , the Canary Islands and Murcia , then the Balearic Islands as the seventh region and Asturias as the eighth . According to the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, these requests for aid would use up more than 90% of the funds.
Historical areas and concept of nationality
Galicia , the Basque Country , Navarre and Catalonia , as so-called "historical areas" (of which the Basque Country even has several), have a particularly extensive need for autonomy and (like other "historical areas" of Spain too) have a certain special position ) Are formal law areas. For example, the last three regions mentioned have set up their own police bodies ( Ertzaintza in the Basque Country, Policía Foral ( Spanish ) and Foruzaingoa ( Basque ) in Navarra and Mossos d'Esquadra in Catalonia). The special role of the "historical territories" is primarily due to the independence of these areas guaranteed by formal rights granted in the Middle Ages and their later, through centuries of tutelage by the central government in Madrid and the temporary violent suppression of all attempts at independence, especially under the fascist regime of Francisco Franco , shaped history. The regional languages, which were suppressed during the dictatorship and which today serve as a national identifier in some historical areas, also play an important role.
After the death of Franco and the restoration of the monarchy , the creation of the autonomous regions was intended not least as a means of preserving the fragile unity of the Spanish state. This is also served by the fact that the Spanish Constitution, in its Article 2, adheres to the “indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation ” despite the statement that the Spanish nation consists of “nationalities and regions” .
In the dispute between the representatives of national autonomy (and in some cases also independence) aspirations of individual population or ethnic groups or territories and the supporters of a (more) centralistically organized Spanish nation state , called “integralists” in Spain , and was the question of the nationality of the inhabitants of Spain and its historically grown landscapes is a particularly controversial and emotionally charged point. In the constitutional process, the (otherwise seemingly insoluble) dispute about the existence of a nationwide Spanish nation (which some "nationalists" deny) or the existence of other historical peoples in Spain (which was completely negated especially by the former fascist rulers) resolved by a conceptual compromise: The term “nation” ( nación ) should be reserved for the “Spanish nation”, while Basques, Catalans, Galicians and other groups allowed a quasi-national existence as so-called “nationalities” ( nacionalidades ) within Spain has been. This compromise formula allowed the adherents of both ideologies to support the de facto restructuring of the central state into an autonomous state. However, it was clear to all those involved that this was a conceptually less than convincing construct, since the highly “vague” differentiation between “one nation” and “many nationalities” is not based on any justifiable political or ethnological concepts. It was therefore a pure language regulation, but due to the emotional charge of this topic, it was considered inviolable for the time being.
In this area of tension between autonomy and unity, the draft of a new statute of autonomy for Catalonia in 2005 and 2006 caused ongoing political disputes, as it referred to a “Catalan nation”. After being signed by King Juan Carlos I on July 19, 2006, it came into force on August 9, 2006. In the preamble of the Statute of Autonomy, after several changes to the text, it now states that “the Parliament of Catalonia (...) defines Catalonia as a nation”. In the rest of the text of the Statute of Autonomy, however, Article 1 states that “Catalonia as a nationality is self-governing”. For the critically oriented critics of the national independence of individual Spanish autonomies, the term “nation” is still tied to the state sovereignty of a commonwealth and is therefore reserved for the entire Spanish state. The conservative Spanish People's Party has u. a. therefore sued against the Catalan statute before the Spanish Constitutional Court. In its judgment of June 28, 2010, the court ruled that the use of the term “nation” was not unconstitutional. At the same time, however, it has expressly stated that it does not have any legal function (for example in the sense of a special position of Catalonia compared to other autonomous communities).
Comparison between the autonomous communities and the German federal states
The autonomous communities are not constitutionally autonomous , since the adoption and amendment of their statutes of autonomy requires the approval of the Spanish parliament, which is why, unlike the federal states of Germany, they do not have statehood. In addition, the regions of Spain differ from each other in a different way than the countries of the Federal Republic by a different degree of autonomy, although not as pronounced as in the beginning.
The most important practical constitutional difference is that the Spanish constitutional system does not allow the autonomous communities to influence national legislation, as in Germany the federal states can exercise it through the Bundesrat .
Legally, however, the autonomous communities of Spain and the German federal states are very similar in practice today, while the differences are predominantly theoretical. What they have in common is that they have a similar level of legislative competence and are the most important public administration bodies in both countries. Just like the German federal states, the autonomous communities are also very heterogeneous in terms of size.
At the societal level, however, there is a crucial difference: unlike in Germany, there are regions that have their own national self-esteem (particularly Catalonia and the Basque Country, and to a lesser extent the other Catalan-speaking areas and Galicia). Linguistically, there is now practically a state of bilingualism . In the political field, there is a parallel party system with the pan-Spanish parties Partido Socialista Obrero , Partido Popular and Izquierda Unida and also a separate spectrum of “nationalist” parties (in Catalonia: the bourgeois Convergència i Unió and the left Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ; in the Basque Country : the bourgeois Eusko Alderdi Jeltzalea-Partido Nacionalista Vasco , the left Eusko Alkartasuna and the banned successor organizations of the ETA-affiliated Herri Batasuna ; in Galicia the left Bloque Nacionalista Galego ). Regional parties of various sizes are also represented in the regional parliaments in Navarre, the Canaries and Asturias, Aragon, Cantabria, Castile-León, La Rioja, Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
In terms of numbers and seriousness, supporters of independence from Spain, which should not be neglected, exist only in the Basque Country and Catalonia. The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that precisely these two regions, due to their earlier and more intensive industrialization than the rest of Spain, continued well into the 20th century. in were the goal of strong immigration from other parts of the country and one can therefore speak of “minorities within the minority regions”.
Autonomous cities: Ceuta and Melilla
On March 13, 1995, the Spanish exclaves Ceuta and Melilla, located in North Africa and not assigned to any province, were also given statutes of autonomy. However, according to the case law of the Spanish Constitutional Court, these Autonomous Cities are not Autonomous Communities. The court justified this with the fact that the statutes of autonomy of the two cities were passed by the Cortes Generales in the regular procedure for organic laws on the basis of the authorization of Art. 144 b) of the constitution without any special participation of the cities or the deputies and senators elected there, and also with the fact that in this legislative process amendments aimed at expressly designating the cities as autonomous communities were rejected. In addition, there are the following legal peculiarities: The change of the statute of autonomy of the two cities, unlike in the 17 Autonomous Communities, can be carried out solely by the state legislature without any involvement of their “parliaments”. In addition, Ceuta and Melilla have no legislative competence, but only the power to issue ordinances to the extent determined by state law.
List of autonomous communities and cities
|Name of the autonomous community||Capital||Official language (s)||Provinces||map||Area
|GDP / capita (EU27 =
(Spanish Andalucía )
|Seville||Spanish||Almería , Cádiz , Córdoba , Granada , Huelva , Jaén , Málaga , Seville||
87,268 km² |
(Spanish and Aragonese Aragón,
Catalan Aragó )
(span. Zaragoza )
|Spanish, Aragonese , Catalan||Huesca , Teruel , Saragossa||
47,719 km² |
Asturian Asturies )
10,604 km² |
(Spanish Islas Baleares ,
Catalan Illes Balears )
|Palma||Spanish, Catalan||Balearic Islands||
4,992 km² |
(Spanish País Vasco ,
Basque Euskadi )
|Vitoria-Gasteiz||Spanish, Basque||Araba , Gipuzkoa , Bizkaia||
7,234 km² |
|Extremadura||Merida||Spanish||Badajoz , Cáceres||
41,634 km² |
(Spanish Galicia ,
Galician Galiza )
|Santiago de Compostela||Spanish, Galician||A Coruña , Lugo , Ourense , Pontevedra||
29,574 km² |
(Spanish Islas Canarias )
Santa Cruz de Tenerife and
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
|Spanish||Santa Cruz de Tenerife , Las Palmas||
7,447 km² |
(Spanish Cantabria )
5,321 km² |
Castile and León
(Spanish Castilla y León )
|Valladolid||Spanish, Leonese , Galician||Ávila , Burgos , León , Palencia , Salamanca , Segovia , Soria , Valladolid , Zamora||
94,223 km² |
(Spanish Castilla-La Mancha )
|Toledo||Spanish||Albacete , Ciudad Real , Cuenca , Guadalajara , Toledo||
79,463 km² |
(Spanish Cataluña , Catalan Catalunya )
|Barcelona||Spanish, Catalan , Aranese||Barcelona , Girona , Lleida , Tarragona||
32,114 km² |
|La Rioja||Logroño||Spanish||La Rioja||
5,045 km² |
(Spanish Comunidad de Madrid )
8,028 km² |
(Spanish Región de Murcia )
11,313 km² |
(Basque Nafarroa )
10,391 km² |
(Spanish Comunidad Valenciana , Valencian Comunitat Valenciana )
|Valencia||Spanish, Valencian ( Catalan )||Alicante , Castellón , Valencia||
23,255 km² |
- List of Spanish autonomous communities by population
- List of Spanish autonomous communities by area
- List of Spanish autonomous communities according to the human development index
- List of flags of the autonomous communities of Spain
- List of ISO 3166-2 codes for Spain
- List of provinces of Spain
- Political bodies of the Autonomous Communities of Spain (regional parliaments and governments)
- Provisions of the Statute of Autonomy on the competencies of the Autonomous Communities (synopsis divided into subject areas and autonomous communities)
- Constitutional portal of the Spanish House of Representatives; Spanish constitution with short commentary; Texts of the Statute of Autonomy (Spanish)
- Archive link ( Memento from June 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Spanish Ministry of the Interior: Results of Spanish elections since 1977 (Spanish)
- http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/1977/10/05/pdfs/A22047-22048.pdf Boletín Oficial del Estado: Real Decreto-ley 41/1977, de 29 de septiembre, sobre restablecimiento provisional de la Generalidad de Cataluña (Spanish)
- http://www.boe.es/boe/dias/1978/01/06/pdfs/A00326-00327.pdf Boletín Oficial del Estado: Real Decreto-ley 1/1978, de 4 de enero, por el que se aprueba el régimen preautonómico para el País Vasco (Spanish)
- Dieter Nohlen: Spain: Economy - Society - Politics; a study book , 2nd edition, 2005, p. 279.
- http://www.congreso.es/constitucion/ficheros/c78/cons_alem.pdf Spanish House of Representatives ( Congreso de Diputados ): German translation of the constitution of December 29, 1978
- Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Text of the acuerdos autonómicos of July 31, 1981. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved January 18, 2011 (Spanish). ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Text of the acuerdos autonómico s from February 28, 1992. Archived from the original on August 30, 2011 ; Retrieved January 18, 2011 (Spanish).
- Ministerio de Política Territorial: Boletín Estadistico del Personal al Servicio de las Administraciones Públicas. January 2010, archived from the original on October 11, 2010 ; Retrieved October 13, 2010 (Spanish).
- The figures for the autonomous communities alone are only comparable to a limited extent. There are seven Autonomous Communities that are not divided into provinces, in which the Autonomous Community also fulfills the tasks that are performed by the provinces in the other Autonomous Communities. In the Basque Country, however, the provinces (Territorios Históricos) and in the Canary Islands the island councils perform many tasks that are carried out by the autonomous community in other autonomous communities.
- Comunidades Autónomas - Protocolo de déficit excesivo. Bank of Spain , accessed June 8, 2012 (Spanish).
- Deuda viva de las Entidades Locales. Spanish Ministry of Finance, archived from the original on June 21, 2012 ; accessed on June 8, 2012 (span.).
- Deuda viva de las Entidades Locales. Spanish Ministry of Finance, archived from the original on June 21, 2012 ; accessed on June 8, 2012 (span.).
- AFP: Euro crisis: Spain pays record interest on new loans. In: Zeit Online. July 23, 2012, accessed August 15, 2012 .
- La Comunidad Valenciana pide la adhesión al fondo de rescate autonómico
- zeit.de July 22, 2012: Two Spanish regions are facing bankruptcy
- Kölner Stadtanzeiger October 19, 2012: Mallorca asks for millions in aid
- Decision of the Constitutional Court v. July 25, 2000, ATC 201/2000 (re. Melilla) ( Memento of February 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Decision of the Constitutional Court v. July 25, 2000, ATC 202/2000 (re.Ceuta) ( Memento of February 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (PDF file; 65 kB), 2006
- Unlike Catalan or Valencian in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, Basque in the Basque Country and parts of Navarre and Galician in Galicia, Asturian or "bable" in Asturias does not have the status of an official language within the meaning of Art. 3.2 of the Spanish Constitution , but enjoys protection and support from the Autonomous Community according to Art. 4.1 of the Statute of Autonomy
- the Leonese language does not have the status of an official language in the sense of Art. 3.2 of the Spanish Constitution, but in the province of León it enjoys special institutional protection in accordance with the amended version of the autonomous status of Castile-León in the sense of Article 5.2 of particular value within the linguistic heritage of this community. It also states that their protection, use and promotion are regulated. In the city of León , Leonese has meanwhile been introduced into the curricular planning of state schools. According to Art. 5.3, Galician also enjoys special protection in the regions bordering Galicia in which it is spoken, but without being an official language.