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Regional Administrations

Sunday 31 December 2017

Regional and Local Policy

Recognition for the right to autonomy of the nationalities and regions that make up Spain is enshrined in Article 2 of our Constitution, with Title VIII given over to further detail on the regional organisation in three tiers of government: the State or Central Government, the Autonomous Regions and the Local Authorities.

The primary institutional legislation for the regions is the statute of autonomy, a framework in which their institutions are designed and developed, and the system to attribute their powers, always within the limits established by Articles 148 and 149 of the Spanish Constitution.

As regards local authorities, Article 137 of the Constitution establishes that the State will also be territorially divided into municipal districts and provinces. All of these authorities enjoy autonomy to manage their own respective interests.

The Constitution grants special importance to the municipal districts, regarding which Article 140 provides for their autonomy and their governance through their respective local councils.

The primary legislation regulating those bodies that make up the local authorities is contained in Law 7/1985, of 2 April, Regulating the Foundations for Local Authorities, which sets out their governing institutions and the powers that correspond thereto.

Furthermore, in the implementing regulations of this law, the autonomous regions have approved their respective laws that develop the primary legislation in order to take into consideration, above all, the specific features of their region and the distribution of the population.

6th Conference of Regional Presidents

In January 2017, the 6th Conference of Regional Presidents was held in the Upper House of Parliament, attended by representatives of 15 regions. During this Conference, 11 agreements were signed on a broad range of issues to address the main problems affecting our country.

In July 2017, six months after the Conference, the Vice-President of the Government and Minister for the Presidency and the Regional Administrations took stock of the progress that had been made in relation to these agreements. These results mark the starting point and basis on which further work will be done. The reactivation of the Conference of Regional Presidents constitutes a genuine opportunity to increase communication, collaboration and cooperation through this body that helps drive relations between the different tiers of government.

Regional State Administration

The Regional State Administration is responsible for exercising the State's activity at a provincial level, whereby each provincial Government Representative is in charge of running its administration and coordinating with the administration of each autonomous region. This is set out in Article 154 of the Spanish Constitution, which states, "A representative appointed by the government will run the State administration in the territory of the autonomous region and will coordinate, as and when appropriate, with the administration of said region".

The Regional State Administration is regulated by Law 40/2015, of 1 October, on the Public Sector Legal System, which, in Chapter III contains the provisions relating to the territorial bodies of the General State Administration.

Plan to Modernise and Improve the Regional State Administration

In June 2017, the Vice-President of the Government presented the Plan to Modernise and Improve the Regional State Administration, which seeks to "ensure a more modern, flexible and accessible administration, strengthening the presence of the General State Administration in the regions and improving the quality of the public services offered there".