Council of Ministers

Government appeals against External Action Plan of Regional Government of Catalonia before Constitutional Court for violation of State jurisdiction

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 18 October 2019

The Council of Ministers agreed to file a positive conflict of jurisdiction in relation to the Strategic Plan for External Action and Relations with the European Union 2019-2022, approved by the Regional Government of Catalonia on 25 July.

The Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, argued that this Plan exceeds the scope of action of the regional government on external action matters, undermines the State's jurisdiction, inter alia, on international relations and violates the principle of constitutional loyalty in the exercise of regional powers and jurisdiction.

The agreement, which is backed by a favourable opinion from the Council of State, includes the express invocation of Article 161.2 of the Spanish Constitution, to suspend said Plan.

Isabel Celaá reiterated that this decision was adopted after the Regional Government of Catalonia responded negatively to the declaration of incompetence issued thereto by the government, following the approval thereof at the Council of Ministers on 23 August. The government considers that the legal and jurisdictional problems set out in the declaration still persist if the current wording of the Plan is maintained and, hence filed a positive conflict of jurisdiction.

The aim of this measure is that the Constitutional Court declares that Catalonia has undermined the State's jurisdiction and violated the principle of constitutional loyalty.

The Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and Government Spokesperson, remarked that this Plan omits any reference to the State and to its coordination function. She also highlighted that the analysis and assessment, from a constitutional standpoint, of the Plan cannot ignore its approval against the backdrop of the pro-independence process that seeks to smear Spain's international image.

Isabel Celaá added that the principle of constitutional loyalty requires that the Plan refers to the principles, guidelines and aims of foreign policy established by the government.

Contribution to Green Climate Fund

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe government approved Spain's contribution of 150 million euros to the Green Climate Fund, to be paid out between 2019 and 2023. This commitment was announced by the Acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, at the Climate Action Summit held in New York in September.

Isabel Celaá recalled that Spain joined up to this scheme in 2010, set up within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to finance projects in developing economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Subsidy for ATENPRO hotline for protection of victims of gender-based violence

The Council of Ministers authorised a 4-million euro subsidy to be granted to the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Spanish acronym: FEMP) to manage the hotline for the protection of victims of gender-based violence (ATENPRO).

The Acting Government Spokesperson stressed the importance of this service, which attended 13,653 users in the month of April this year, and which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, both for emergencies and to monitor cases and offer psychological assistance.

155 posts for teachers and administrative staff at UNED

The Council of Ministers authorised the National Distance Education University (Spanish acronym: UNED) to advertise 155 posts for teaching staff, researchers and administrative personnel.

The public employment offer for teachers includes 54 posts for temporary lecturers and 42 posts for university lecturers, specified the Acting Government Spokesperson. 20 posts will also be advertised for university professors to be covered by internal promotion procedures. The offer for administration and services personnel will allow 20 new posts for civil servants and 19 posts for personnel under an employment contract.

18 October, combatting human trafficking

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe government approved an Institutional Declaration on the occasion of EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October.

"The government declares its firm commitment today to the eradication of all forms of human trafficking through the adoption of legal measures and enhanced public policies to detect and prevent this despicable offence", claimed the Acting Government Spokesperson.

Isabel Celaá explained that Spain is particularly sensitive to this problem, since "it is a country of transit and destination of victims", and recalled that the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence contains specific measures to combat the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Subsidies for education activities for public entities

The government approved a Royal Decree regulating the direct granting of subsidies to public entities in the field of education and vocational training.

Isabel Celaá specified that one of these subsidies is allocated to the programme entitled "La aventura del saber" on Spanish Television, "due to its social interest and tremendous success". The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces will also be one of the beneficiary institutions.

214.5 million euros for regional governments and autonomous cities from 0.7% personal income tax contribution

The government ratified the Agreement of the Territorial Council for Social Services and Long-term Care approved on 10 October for the distribution to regional governments, and Ceuta and Melilla, of 214.5 million euros corresponding to the regional tranche of the social subsidies charged to the voluntary 0.7% personal income tax contribution

This funding "is allocated to finance social interest programmes and to combat poverty and social exclusion", remarked Isabel Celaá. 81.14% corresponds to the regional tranche of amount collected as personal income tax, while 18.86% corresponds to the State tranche.

Non official translation