Autonomous_communities_of_Spain by zzzmarcus


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Autonomous communities of Spain

Autonomous communities of Spain
Spain Constitution. The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "regions and nationalities" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".[1][2] Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities. These regional governments are responsible for schools, universities, health, social services, culture, urban and rural development and, in some places, policing[3]. There are also two autonomous cities. All in all, under the autonomías system, Spain has been quoted to be "an extraordinarily decentralised country", with the central government accounting for just 18% of public spending; the regional governments 38%, the local councils 13% and the social-security system the rest[4].

This article is part of the series:

Politics and government of Spain • Constitution (history) • King • Juan Carlos I • Spanish Royal Family • Government • Prime Minister • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero • Council of Ministers • Cortes Generales • Senate • Congress of Deputies • Leader of the Opposition • Political parties • Elections • 1977 – 79 – 82 – 86 – 89 – 93 – 96 – 2000 – 04 – 08 • Judiciary • Constitutional Court • General Council of the Judiciary Power • Supreme Court • Audiencia Nacional • Regional High Courts and Provincial Courts • People’s Defender (Ombudsman) • Autonomous communities • Regional governments • Regional legislatures • Provinces, comarcas and municipalities • Human rights • Foreign relations and EU politics
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Constitutional framework
Upon the passing of the constitution of 1978, Spain created a unique system of regional autonomy, known as the "state of the autonomies".[1] The second article of the constitution grants the right of self-government to the regions and nationalities that compose the indissoluble Spanish nation.[2] In the exercise of the right to self-government recognized in that article, autonomy was to be granted to:[5] • two or more adjacent provinces with common historical, cultural and economical characteristics, • insular territories, and • a single province with historical identity or status. As such, the province, which is also a territorial local entity recognized by the constitution,[6] serves as the framework from which the autonomous communities were to be created. However, the constitution allows exceptions to the above, namely that the Spanish Parliament reserves the right to:[7] • authorize, in the nation’s interest, the constitution of an autonomous community

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The Autonomous Community (Comunidad Autónoma in Spanish) is the first-level political division of the Kingdom of Spain, established in accordance with the Spanish


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even if it is a single province without a historical regional identity; and • authorize or grant autonomy to those entities or territories that are not constituted as provinces. Once an autonomous community had been constituted, the 145th article of the constitution prohibits the federation or union of two or more autonomous communities.[8] Between 1979 and 1983, all the regions in Spain had been constituted as autonomous communities; in 1996 the process was closed when the autonomous status of Ceuta and Melilla was passed: • Andalusia, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia—as "historical nationalities"—[1] were granted autonomy through a fast and simplified process; • Aragon, Castile and León, Castile-La Mancha, Extremadura and the Valencian Community were granted autonomy as communities integrated by two or more provinces with common historical characteristics; • the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands were granted autonomy as insular territories, the former comprising two provinces; • Cantabria, Asturias, La Rioja, and the Region of Murcia were granted autonomy as single provinces with historical regional identity, as well as Navarra, even though the latter was granted autonomy through the "update and improvement" of the medieval charters (in Spanish fueros); • the Community of Madrid was constituted for the nation’s interest;[9] • Ceuta and Melilla, both cities, were granted autonomy—albeit limited—in spite of not being provinces themselves, in exercise of the rights reserved by the Spanish Parliament.

Autonomous communities of Spain

Political organization of the autonomous communities

Galicia Navarre Madrid La Rioja Aragon Catalonia Valencia Castilla La Mancha Extremadura Portugal Castilla y León Asturias Cantabria Basque Country Murcia Andalusia Ceuta Melilla France Balearic Islands Canary Islands Mediterranean Sea Bay of Biscay Atlantic Ocean Andorra Atlantic Ocean


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Autonomous communities of Spain
Islands,[12] the Balearic Islands,[13] and Aragon.[14] The autonomous communities have wide legislative and executive autonomy, with their own parliaments and regional governments. The distribution of powers may be different for every community, as laid out in their Statutes of Autonomy. There used to be a clear de facto distinction between so called "historic" communities (Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Andalusia) and the rest. The "historic" ones initially received more functions, including the ability of the regional presidents to choose the timing of the regional elections (as long as they happen no more than four years apart). As another example, the Basque Country, Navarre and Catalonia have full-range police forces of their own: Ertzaintza in the Basque Country, Policía Foral in Navarre and Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia. Other communities have a more limited force or none at all (like the Policía Autónoma Andaluza[15] in Andalusia or the BESCAM in Madrid). However, the recent amendments made to their respective Statute of Autonomy by a series of "ordinary" Autonomous Communities such as the Valencian Community or Aragon have quite dilluted this original de facto distinction.

The basic institutional law of the autonomous community is the Statute of Autonomy. The Statutes of Autonomy establish the denomination of the community according to its historical identity, the limits of their territories, the name and organization of the institutions of government and the rights they enjoy according the constitution.[10] The government of all autonomous communities must be based on a division of powers comprising: • a Legislative Assembly whose members must be elected by universal suffrage according to the system of proportional representation and in which all areas that integrate the territory are fairly represented; • a Government Council, with executive and administrative functions headed by a president, elected by the Legislative Assembly and nominated by the King of Spain; • a Supreme Court of Justice, under the Supreme Court of the State, which head the judicial organization within the autonomous community. Besides Andalusia, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, which identified themselves as nationalities, other communities have also taken that denomination in accordance to their historical regional identity, such as the Valencian Community,[11] the Canary

Autonomous communities comprise provinces (provincias), which serve as the territorial building blocks for the former. In turn, provinces comprise municipalities (municipios). The existence of these two subdivisions is granted and protected by the constitution, not necessarily by the Statutes of Autonomy themselves. Municipalities are granted autonomy to manage their internal affairs, and provinces are the territorial divisions designed to carry out the activities of the State.[16] The current fifty province structure is based—with minor changes—on the one created in 1833 by Javier de Burgos. The communities of Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Murcia and Navarre, having been granted autonomy as single-provinces for historical reasons, are counted as provinces as well.

Devolution of powers and the creation of the

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Autonomous communities of Spain
of the decentralization on one side, and supporters of the more asymmetric original scheme.) Eventually, all regions could be granted autonomy, if they complied with the requirements set forth in the constitution, and if their people wished to do so, and four additional communities self-identified as "nationalities" as well. Between 1979 and 1983 the majority of the regions were constituted as autonomous communities, in accordance with the 143rd or 151st articles of the constitution. Nonetheless the case of the province of Madrid was exceptional. Since it was not a province with a separate historical regional identity, but was part of the cultural region of Castile, it was considered a natural province that would compose the soon-to be Community of Castile-La Mancha. During the process that led to the autonomy of this region, the old rivalry between Toledo and Madrid resurfaced; as capital of Spain, Madrid was to enjoy a relative degree of self-government, whereas Castilians demanded absolute equality amongst the constituent provinces of the community, and thus excluded Madrid from their project of self-government. Other alternatives included the incorporation of Madrid to the community of Castile and León (the historical region of Old Castile) or its controversial constitution as something similar to a "Federal District" or territory, emulating Mexico City, or Washington, D.C.[9] Finally, they opted for the creation of a singleprovince autonomous community, but in lack of a historical regional identity, Madrid was granted autonomy for the "nation’s interest" through the prerogatives of the 144th article.[20] The Basque Country and Navarra were also exceptional cases. While the Basque Country was granted autonomy through the rapid process granted to the "nationalities", it also retained the economic and fiscal autonomy it had enjoyed through the fueros or charters. Navarra was granted autonomy through the "update and improvement" of the medieval charters. As such, it is the only region that does not have a "Statute of Autonomy" per se, but a "Law of Reintegration and Improvement of the Chartered Regime". In theory, Navarra is the only firstlevel political division that is not an "autonomous community" but a "chartered community", but in practice, except for the fiscal autonomy it enjoys along with the

autonomous communities

Autonomous communities of Spain. Centralism, nationalism, and separatism played an important role in the Spanish transition. For fear that separatism would lead to instability and a dictatorial backlash, a compromise was struck among the moderate political parties taking part in the drafting of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The aim was to appease separatist forces and so disarm the extreme right. A highly decentralized state was established, compared to both the previous centralist Francoist regime and the most modern territorial arrangements in Western European nations. In this regard, the current Spanish Estado de las Autonomías is often dubbed as one of the most decentralized states in Europe.[17][18] The constitution classifies the autonomous communities to be created into two groups. Each group had a different route to accede to autonomy and was to be granted a different level of power and responsibility.[1] Catalonia, the Basque Country, and Galicia were designated "historic nationalities"[1][19] and granted autonomy through a rapid and simplified process. These three regions had voted and approved a Statute of Autonomy in the past. While the Constitution was still being drafted, there was a popular outcry in Andalusia for its own right to autonomy, with over a million and a half people demonstrating in the streets on 4 December 1977, which led the creation of a special quicker process for autonomy for that region, although not originally considered a historical nationality.[1][19] (This was dubbed at the time café para todos, "coffee for everybody", by critics


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Basque Country, it is administratively constituted as any other autonomous community and is represented in the Spanish Parliament like the rest. Although the constitution forbids the federation or union of autonomous communities, an addendum or "transitional provision" to the constitution makes an exclusion whereby Navarra could join the Basque Country if the people chose to do so.[21] Leonese administrations proposed a Leonese Autonomous Community for the Province of León, continuating with the Leonese Region created in 1833 and composed by León, Salamanca and Zamora provinces, and the Kingdom of León, and even the Diputación Provincial de León, and so many municipalities as León or Ponferrada supported that model in 1983 (some of them supported Leonese Autonomous Community as an "Historical Nationality"). The Tribunal Constitucional of Spain rejected the leonese proposal in 1984, and León was joint with Castile in "Castile and León Autonomous Community", only supported by a 4% of Leonese municipalities.[22].

Autonomous communities of Spain

Sp. Asturias Sp. Oviedo Principal- Oviedo Sp. Oviedo Ast.[23] Ast.[23] ity of AsturiAst.[23] Uviéu Asturies Uviéu as: Sp.. Principado de Asturias Ast.[23] Principáu d’Asturies Balearic Islands Sp. Islas Baleares Cat.Illes Balears (official) Basque Country Sp.. Comunidad Autónoma Vasca Ba.. Euskal Autonomi Erkidegoa Palma of Majorca Sp.Palma de Mallorca Cat. Palma (official) Vitoria Sp. Vitoria Ba.VitoriaGasteiz (official), Gasteiz (historic) Vitoria (historic) Santa Cruz de Tenerife/ Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Santander Toledo (Regional Government and Parliament) Albacete (Superior Court of Justice and Ombudsman) Balearic Islands Sp. Islas Baleares Cat. Illes Balears (official) Sp. Álava Ba.Araba Sp. Guipúzcoa Ba. Gipuzkoa Biscay Sp. Vizcaya Ba. Bizkaia Santa Cruz de Tenerife Las Palmas

Palma of Majorca Sp.Palma Mallorca Cat. Palma (official)

Sp. Vitoria Ba. Gastei

Sp. San Se bastián Ba. Donostia

List of the communities and provinces
Name Local name(s) Capital Provinces

Bilbao Sp. Bilbao Ba. Bilbo

Canary Islands Sp. Islas Capital Canarias Cantabria Almería Cádiz CastileLa Mancha Córdoba Sp. Castilla-La Granada Mancha Huelva Jaén Málaga Seville Sp. Sevilla Sp. Huesca Ar.[23] Uesca Sp. Teruel Ar.[23] Tergüel

Santa Cru de Tenerif

Las Palma de Gran Canaria Albacete Cuenca Toledo

Andalusia Seville Sp. Andalucía (Government, Parliament and Ombudsman) Sp. Sevilla Granada (High Court of Justice)

Almería Cádiz Córdoba Granada Huelva Jaén Málaga Seville Sp. Sevilla Sp. Huesca Ar.[23] Uesca Sp. Teruel Ar.[23] Tergüel

Cantabria Albacete Cuenca Toledo


Ciudad Real Ciudad Re

Guadalajara Guadalaja

Aragon Sp. Aragón Ar.[23]Aragón

Saragossa Sp.Zaragoza

Saragossa Saragossa Sp.Zaragoza Sp.Zaragoza


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Castile and León Sp. Castilla y León Le.[23]Castiella y Llión Valladolid (Regional Government and Parliament) Burgos (Superior Court of Justice) León Le.Llión (Ombudsman) Ávila Burgos Sp. León Le. Llión Palencia Sp. Salamanca Le. Salamanca Segovia Soria Valladolid Sp. Zamora Le. Zamora Catalonia Barcelona Sp. Cataluña Cat. Catalunya (official) Barcelona Sp. Gerona Cat. Girona (official) Sp. Lérida Cat. Lleida (official) Tarragona Mérida Extremadura Galicia Sp. Galicia Gl. Galicia, Galiza Santiago de Compostela (Regional Government, Parliament and Ombudsman) Corunna (High Court of Justice) Sp. La Coruña Gl.A Coruña Logroño Madrid Badajoz Cáceres Corunna Sp. La Coruña Gl. A Coruña Lugo Sp. Orense Gl.Ourense Pontevedra

Autonomous communities of Spain
Ávila Comunidad Foral Burgos de Navarra Sp. León Ba. NafarLe. Llión roako Foru Palencia Komunitatea Sp. SalaValencian Valencia manca Sp. Valencia Community Le. Vl. València Sp. ComunidSalamanca ad Valenciana Segovia Vl. Comunitat Valenciana Soria (official) Valladolid Sp. Zamora Le. Zamora

Sp. Alicante Vl. Alacant Sp. Castellón Vl. Castelló

Sp. Alican Vl. Alacan

Sp. Castellón de l Plana Vl. Castell de la Plana

Sp. Valencia Sp. Valenc Vl. València Vl. Valènc

Barcelona See also: Sp. Gerona Spanish autonomous communities • List of Cat. by area Girona (official) of Spanish autonomous communities • List Sp. Lérida by population Cat. List of ISO 3166 codes for Spanish • Lleida (official) autonomous communities and provinces Tarragona Badajoz

Autonomous Cities and Cáceres "plazas de soberanía"

La Rioja Madrid Region of Murcia Sp. Región de Murcia

La Rioja Madrid

Murcia Murcia (Government, Ombudsman, High Court of Justice) Cartagena (Parliament)

Corunna There are five plazas de soberanía ("places of Sp. La Corsovereignty") near Morocco as follows: uña • Ceuta and Melilla. These are called Gl. A "Ciudades Autónomas" (Autonomous Coruña Cities). Their status is in between regular Lugocities and Autonomous Communities: on the one Sp. Orense side, Ceuta and Melilla autonomous parliaments cannot enact Gl.Ourense "autonomous" laws, but, on the other side, Pontevedra they can enact regulations to execute laws, which are greater regulatory powers than those of regular city councils. and then the tiny and uninhabited other than Logroño for military personnel: • Islas Madrid Chafarinas, • Peñón de Alhucemas, Murcia • and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

See also

Foral Community of Navarre Sp.

• Nationalities and regions of Spain • Flags of the autonomous communities of Spain Pamplona Navarre Pamplona of arms of the autonomous • Coats Sp. Pamplona Sp. Navarra Sp. communities of Spain Ba. Iruña Ba. Pamplona • Anthems of the autonomous communities Nafarroa Ba. Iruña of Spain


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• • • • • Provinces of Spain Comarcas of Spain List of municipalities of Spain Catalan constitutions Nationalities in Spain

Autonomous communities of Spain
[13] Estatut d’Autonomia de les Illes Balears, 2007 [14] Estatuto de Autonomía de Aragón [15] "Unidad de Policía de la Comunidad Autónoma de Andalucía". Retrieved on 2007-10-23. (Spanish) [16] Articles 140 and 141. Spanish Constitution of 1978 [17] – Catalonians vote for more autonomy – Jun 18, 2006 [18] Global Education Reform | Decentralization and SBM Resource Kit [19] ^ Keating, M. (2006). Federalism and the Balance of Power in European States. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [20] Preliminary Title. First Article. Statute of Autonomy of the Community of Madrid [21] Fourth Transitional Provision. Spanish Constitution of 1978 [22] Poll made by Leonese Provincial Government in 1980 [23] ^ Not an official language but is protected and regulated, and spoken by a local minority.

[1] ^ "Regional Government". Spain. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Accessed 10 December 2007 [2] ^ Preliminary Title. Second Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [3] [1] [4] [2] [5] Chapter 3. Autonomous Communities. 143rd Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [6] Chapter 3. Autonomous Communities. 141st Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [7] Chapter 3. Autonomous Communities. 144th Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [8] Chapter 3. Autonomous Communities. 145th Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [9] ^ Sinópsis del Estatuto de Autonomia de la Comunidad de Madrid. Congreso de los Diputados. Accessed: 10 December 1979 [10] Chapter 3. Autonomous Communities. 147th Article. Spanish Constitution of 1978. Accessed: 10 December 2007 [11] Estatut d’Autonomia de la Comunitat Valenciana, 2006 [12] Nuevo Estatuto de Autonomía de Canarias

External links
• Information about Spain’s Autonomous Communities from • Relations between tiers – CityMayors feature • Maps of the Autonomous Communities of Spain • Maps of the Autonomous Communities of Spain in Chinese • David Brighty. State and region: the Spanish experience.

Retrieved from "" Categories: Autonomous communities of Spain, Subdivisions of Spain, Lists of country subdivisions, Country subdivisions of Europe, First-level administrative country subdivisions This page was last modified on 17 May 2009, at 10:44 (UTC). All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.) Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) taxdeductible nonprofit charity. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers


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