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Spain is a unitary state where, however, power, both political and administrative, is decentralized.

This means that the taking of public decisions and their implementation is not exclusively in the hands of the Central Government (central power) but shared with subordinate territorial bodies such as the Autonomous Sub-Governments and Local Authorities.

“Comunidades Autónomas” (The Autonomous Länder States)

The Autonomous Federal States have a wide autonomy. As a result, they have extensive legal and executive power within their own territory and in accordance with the powers set out in its “Estatutos de Autonomía” (Statutes of Autonomy).

They have their own parliament, their own board and their own administration.

The Statutes of Autonomy are the fundamental norms of every Autonomous State. The Articles of Association include public matters that fall within its competence (health care, education, urban development, etc.). These are matters on which the parliament of the Autonomous State can pass laws and on which its government and administration can act.

These basic standards also determine other important matters such as the public institutions in the Autonomous State, its internal organization, its relationship to the citizens or its symbols (flag, coat of arms, national anthem, etc.).

The Statute of Autonomy is like the Constitution of each Autonomous State.

– Citizens of Spanish nationality residing in each Autonomous State elect the members of the Autonomous Parliament every four years during the “Elecciones Autónomas” (The Autonomous Elections). This parliament subsequently elects the Chairman of the Autonomous Government. The Chairman, in turn, freely appoints the “Consejeros” (Councilors) with whom he will form the Autonomous Government.
The Autonomous Government is at the head of the political policy of the Autonomous State and the Autonomous Administration.

It will be clear that the procedure for the establishment of the Autonomous Government is identical to that applied at national level.

The Autonomous Federated States are formed by a government and its own administrative structure consisting of civil servants who serve the citizens. Within this structure we work with its own budget and its own tax system.

Local Governments

The Province

In turn, the Province, which consists of a number of municipalities, is a local institution with its own legal personality.

In each Province there is a Governmental Body and an Administration which are collectively referred to as the Provincial Council. These types of Government bodies may also have a different name elsewhere, for example Cabildos.
Once, during the Municipal Elections, all councilors have been elected in the different Municipalities of the Province, the political parties under their councilors determine who will be appointed as Provincial Delegates. The election of the Chairman, the Board and the General Assembly of the Provincial Council is identical to that of the Municipalities.

The Provincial Council is mainly charged with helping the Municipalities in the Province, especially the smaller ones, in the adequate implementation of the services with which they must comply by law. In a number of cases, the Provincial Council provides direct assistance to the citizens, although it is generally customary to provide assistance to the municipalities.
In order to meet their objectives, the Provincial Council has its own economic, human and material resources. It acts as an intermediary administration between the Autonomous Sub-Government and the Municipalities.

In any case, it should be clear that from a hierarchical point of view, the Provincial Council is not superior to the Municipalities. Nor can it revise the actions of the Municipalities or impose a particular policy. Municipalities are independent institutions and their actions cannot be reviewed by the Court.

The municipality

The most important local authorities in Spain are the Municipalities and the Provinces.

The Constitution guarantees the right to self-determination when dealing with one’s own affairs.

The administration and administration of the Municipality is in the hands of the Municipality (Ayuntamiento).
The residents of the Municipality elect Aldermen in the so-called Municipal Elections, in which both Spanish citizens and citizens from any other State of the European Union residing in Spain who have expressed their will to participate in said elections, themselves can be elected and can be chosen.

Once the aldermen have been elected, they in turn elect the Mayor. This is elected from the aldermen who took part in the elections as leaders of their political parties.

Municipalities have a variety of powers and public services that they are required to render to citizens.

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