Challenges Related to Implementing the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Spanish Legislation

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  • Ángel Iglesias Alonso University Rey Juan Carlos, Department of Law and Political Science
  • Roberto Barbeito Iglesias University Rey Juan Carlos, Department of Law and Political Science
Keywords: European Charter of Local Self-Government, decentralisation, autonomy, local government, subsidiarity, Spain

Abstract

Spain was one of the first countries to ratify the European Charter of Local Autonomy. Not without some setbacks, its principles have gradually been incorporated into the Spanish legal system as the regional and state laws on local government have been implemented.  Its hermeneutics value has undoubtedly proven to be important and the legislator has considered the principles contained in the Charter when developing local laws. Therefore, it can be assured at present that the level of implementation of local autonomy in Spain is reasonably in line with the principles stipulated in the Charter. However, local autonomy in Spain is possibly in a stage of regression at present times, mainly due to the effects of the way to face the financial and economic crisis. Spain, along with other Mediterranean countries, has been required to introduce harsh austerity and adjustment policies which particularly affect the local public sector.  In this context, the main challenges which Spain would have to handle in order to fully extend and reinforce local autonomy to completely comply with the principles stipulated in the Charter are outlined in this article.

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Published
2018-10-23
Section
Thematic Articles