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Imatge butlleti Educació

Catalan / Castellano / English

:: Recent Political Events

Palau de la Generalitat, Building of the Government of Catalonia
Picture: Jordi Bedmar, Generalitat de Catalunya

On May 22nd elections took place in 13 autonomous communities as well as in all local governments in Spain. From a general perspective, these elections resulted in a dramatic defeat for the socialists, in office at central level, and a clear victory for the conservatives, the Popular Party (PP). At autonomous-community level, the PP obtained the overall majority of seats in 8 autonomous communities, with an average share of vote of 50% ranging from 59% in Murcia to 46% in Cantabria (see Map 2). In this sense, the PP retained and even strengthened its overall majorities in Madrid, Valencian Community, Murcia, Castilla-y-León, Cantabria and La Rioja, and gained control of Balearic Islands and Castilla-La Mancha, the latter, a traditional socialist fief. Although in 3 other autonomous communities (Aragon, Extremadura and the Canary Islands) the PP was also the most-voted party it did not obtain the majority of seats, thus, government formation will entirely depend on further coalitions and parliamentary agreements which might or might include the conservatives.

Local government elections shared similar trends: the PP gained control of several capital cities which had been socialist strongholds for decades, such as Gijón; the Catalan nationalists, CiU, gained control of Barcelona, socialist-ruled for more than 30 years. However, besides the PP victories and the socialist defeats, the most remarkable aspect of these elections took place in the Basque Country: for the first time in more than 5 years, a radical Basque pro-independence party, Bildu, could contest the elections; and it not only contested but has become the second most-voted party in the Basque Country.

The appliance of the Law of parties that explicitly provides arguments to ban parties proving to be linked to Eta and its “social context”, had managed to clear up radical pro-independence parties and platforms from the electoral arenas. On May 5, in extremis, the Spanish Constitutional Court allowed Bildu (“gather” in Basque) to contest, overruling a previous decision by the Spanish Supreme Court. Bildu contested in the local elections in the Basque Country and Navarre and in the autonomous-community elections in Navarra. In the Basque Country, it obtained 25.45% of the popular vote (276,134 votes) which resulted in 953 councillors, 81 more than those obtained by the most-voted party, the moderate nationalists PNV/EAJ; it also gained control of San Sebastian, a socialist fief, and in Navarra, with almost 12% of the share of vote, has become the fourth parliamentary party in the Navarran parliament (7 seats) and obtained 184 local councillors.

Ruling of the Constitutional Court of Spain on Bildu (May 5th, STC 62/2011, in Spanish)

More information about elections
Map 1. Autonomous-Community Elections: Most-voted Party Lists
Map 2. Autonomous-Community Elections: PP’s share of vote

Figure 1. Autonomous-Community Elections: Electoral Turnout 2011 and 2011

Table 1. Allocation of Parliamentary Seats. The Fourth Most-voted parties.

Why these elections did not include all 17 autonomous communities? Learn more about this (+)

Local Government Elections

Map 3. Local Government Elections. Most-voted Party Lists (by provinces, general election constituencies)
Map 4. Local Government Elections. Local Councillors: majorities by province

See all results in Spanish Ministry of Interior web page
See results in main towns (capital provinces and larger cities)
Gains and Losses in Capital Provinces

Basque separatists make breakthrough in Spanish elections, Giles Tremlet, The Guardian, 23 May 2011
Spain’s election results may lead to a more unpopular government, Luke Stobart, The Guardian, 28 May 2011
Scale of poll defeat shocks Spain’s Socialists, Sarah Rainsford, BBC, 23 May 2011
Spain: Socialists suffer heavy election losses, BBC, 23 May 2011
Spain: Anti-Zapatero vote tests market nerves, Gavin Hewitt, BBC, 23 May 2011
Rajoy’s rout, The Economist, 23 May 2011

Self-Government in Spain: Recent Developments

Other Processes Leading to the Reform of the Statutes of Autonomy: Recent Developments
Proposal to reform the first additional clause of the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Community.

In January 2011, the Valencian parliament passed the proposal to reform the first additional clause of the 2006 Valencian Statute of Autonomy. The proposal, as its introductory part explicitly says, is addressed to warranty through the statute and in the same line other autonomous communities have already done – Catalonia, Andalusia, a sufficient volume of investments from central government:

In front of this perspective which was unthinkable in 2006, the Valencian Community cannot stay impassive; thus, although it does not pretend to attain a privileged position vis-à-vis the other autonomous communities, neither would consent its legitimate expectations to be frustrated by the consolidation of an asymmetrical pattern in which some autonomous communities could obtain access, to the detriment of others, more powers, more funding, more investment or more infrastructures. [Introductory part, Official Gazette of the Valencian Parliament, Serie B, nº 311-1, 01-04-2011].

This proposal, driven by the Valencian government [Consell], was decided to be carried on after the Constitutional Court decision 31/2010 had vanished all doubts about the constitutionality of a similar clause of the Catalan Statute, which establishes the level of central government investments in infrastructures in Catalonia. While the Catalan Statute determines the level of investment according to economic criteria (GDP) for a seven-year period, the reform proposal of the Statute of the Valencian Community , following the Andalusian Statute, determines the level of investments according to demographic criteria, more specifically to the proportion of the Valencian population on the whole Spain for a seven-year period.

The reform proposal is currently being in process at the Spanish parliament.

Full text of the proposal (in Spanish) Official Gazette of the Valencian Parliament

:: Compilations

Autonomous-Community Legislation

Bilateral Comission Agreements

Bilateral commissions are intergovernmental bilateral bodies composed by representatives of both Central Government and the Autonomous Communities. In this sense, there are 17 bilateral commissions, one for each Autonomous Community.

The commissions were created in the late 1980 and their function is mainly addressed to be a negotiation forum that could avoid further formal constitutional conflicts brought before the Constitutional Court. Thus, bilateral commissions meet when one of the parts considers that a piece of legislation passed by the other part poses constitutional questions.

See at the IEA web page the IEA compilation document of updated information about the activity held in each bilateral commission (updated at 29 April 2011).

Full data on the bilateral commissions are available at our database.

Constitutional Court

Appeals of Unconstitucionality. 2011 Compilation
Appeals against Autonomous-Community Laws Lodged by Central Government Institutions (January-April 2011)
Appeals against Spanish Laws Lodged by the Autonomous Communities (January-April 2011)

Conflicts on Distribution of Powers
Conflicts on Distribution of Powers lodged by Autonomous Communities

Recent Polls
Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió. Generalitat de Catalunya
Elements i significats del malestar amb la política a Catalunya. Una aproximació qualitativa a partir de la indagació amb grups de discussió. 2008-2009
Percecepció dels catalans i catalanes sobre la immigració
Baròmetre d'Opinió Pública (BOP). 1a onada 2011

Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas
Avance de resultados de los estudios 2866 a 2884 "Preelectorales elecciones autonómicas y municipales 2011"
Estudio 2885. Avance de resultados del Barómetro. Abril 2011
Estudio 2864
. Barómetro. Marzo 2011
Estudio 2861. Barómetro. Febrero 2011
Estudio 2859. Barómetro. Enero 2011

Gabinete de Prospección Sociológica. Gobierno Vasco
Anuario de la opinión pública vasca 2010. Abril 2011
Protección de datos personales: Estudio de los responsables de ficheros en las administraciones e instituciones públicas de la CAPV. Febrero 2011
Retratos de Juventud 14 - Cultura Democrática. Febrero 2011
Cultura democrática. Febrero 2011
Euskera, uso, actitudes, políticas. Enero 2011

:: News form Other Federal and Decentralized Political Systems

Picture: Holyrood, Scottish Parliament. Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body 2011

Labour looks to rule Welsh assembly with Lib Dems after taking 50% of seats. Steven Morris, The Guardian, 6 May 2011
Stunning SNP election victory throws spotlight on Scottish independence, The Guardian, 6 May 2011
Northern Ireland assembly election: Ulster Unionists head for fourth place, Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 7 May 2011
Northern Ireland election joy for DUP and Sinn Féin, Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 7 May 2011
Northern Ireland 's positive apathy, Fionola Meredith, The Guardian, 7 May 2011
Alex Salmond can do no wrong after biggest victory margin in Scottish political history, Kevin McKenna, The Guardian, 8 May 2011
D’Hondt system for picking NI ministers in Stormont, BBC, 11 May 2011

Electoral Comission for Northern Ireland
Electoral system: How it works, BBC
How the Assembly is elected, National Assembly for Wales
National Assembly for Wales Elections: 2011
Northern Ireland Assembly Elections: 2011
Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2007, Research Paper , Northern Ireland Assembly
Scottish Parliament Elections 2011
Wales elections, BBC

Referendum in Wales (March 2011)
Yes voters winning big in Welsh lawmaking powers referendum, Helen Carter and Hannah Waldram, Guardian, 4 March 2011
Wales say Yes in referendum vote, BBC, 4 March 2011

The Electoral Commission, Referendum Results

Canada: 2011 Federal Elections
Why Quebecers switched en Bloc, Andrew Chung, The Star, 4 May 2011
“Dirty” to be in power in Ottawa, Graeme Hamilton, The National Post, 4th May 2011

Canada Votes 2011, CBC

:: Events and Seminars Recently Organized at the IEA

Seminar "Europe and the Regions"
Picture: Ainoha Gomà/Euroregió Pirineus Mediterrània

Forthcoming seminars
July 1st, 09:30h, La protecció dels consumidors en la contractació i les competències de la Generalitat [Consumers protection, contracts and the powers of the government of Catalonia]

October 28th, 09:30h, Com vincula la jurisprudència constitucional als legisladors? [ How does constitutional case-law bind the legislative power? ]

Recent events and seminars


Last Wednesday 8 June the IEA hosted the presentation of the Economic Institute (IEB)’s second Report on Fiscal Federalism in Spain (2010). The 2010 report has been devoted to the analysis of the financing of the local level of government. The report has been coordinated by the IEB researchers Núria Bosch and Albert Solé and includes contributions by leading experts from all over Spain. Among their conclusions, the contributors point out that solutions should come from increasing the tax pressure. They also quantify the extra cost that capital status involves for cities such as Barcelona and as Madrid, and indicate that town and city councils in Catalonia spend three out of every ten euros on non-compulsory services.

The IEB has also just made public its World Report on Fiscal Federalism’10, an analysis of local funding from an international perspective.

More information about both reports can be found at the IEB’s web page

Report on Fiscal Federalism in Spain (2010) (Table of contents)

World Report on Fiscal Federalism’10 (Table of contents)

Programmes others recent events and seminars

:: IEA Grants

The commission to award the IEA grants met on May 2011. Its proposal is available at the IEA web page (in Catalan).

:: IEA Publications

Palau Centelles, IEA Buiding (detail)

Revista d'Estudis Autonòmics i Federals (IEA Journal)

New issues
Special issue (# 12) dedicated to the analysis of the Ruling of the Constitutional Court on the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia (Ruling 31/2010).
Issue # 13

Past issues can be found on the REAF webpage.

Researches who wish to send originals may do so by electronic mail to: All articles undergo anonymous evaluation (double blind system).

Autonomies i desigualtats a Espanya: Percepcions, evolució social i polítiques de benestar
Raquel Gallego, Joan Subirats (dirs.)
"Con(Textos)A, # 13 Collection

Antologia de textos
Valentí Almirall
"Clàssics del Federalisme" Collection

Les nacionalitats. Escrits i discursos sobre federalisme
Francesc Pi i Margall
"Clàssics del Federalisme" Collection

L'atribució de competències en matèria d'immigració a l'Estatut d'autonomia de Catalunya
Ferran Camas (dir.)
"Institut d'Estudis Autonòmics", # 74 Collection

Nacions a la recerca de reconeixement. Catalunya i el Quebec davant el seu futur
Seminari. Mont-real, 13-15 de maig de 2009
"Institut d'Estudis Autonòmics", # 7 Collection

Exploració del federalisme, i altres textos
Daniel J. Elazar
"Clàssics del Federalisme" Collection

La projecció de la potestat subvencional sobre la distribució competencial
Aida Torres Pérez
"Institut d'Estudis Autonòmics", # 75 Collection

Instituciones y competencias en los estados descentralizados
Institutions and powers in decentralized countries
[format digital]
Enric Argullol i Murgadas, Clara Isabel Velasco Rico (dirs.)
"Institut d'Estudis Autonòmics", # 76 Collection

:: Documentary and Bibliographic Holdings

Documents of the Documentary Holding

Documentary and Bibliographic Holdings data base search.
New holdings.
Summaries of articles from Spanish and foreign magazines.

For any queries concerning the data base of the Documentary Collection, contact Ms. Maite Batalla ( - Telephone 933 429 806).

:: Recent Publications of Interest

The impact of EU Law on minority rights
Tawhida Ahmed, Hart Publishing Oxford, 2011.

Libro Verde: Los Gobiernos locales intermedios en España (Diagnóstico y propuestas para reforzar el valor institucional de las diputaciones provinciales y de los demás Gobiernos locales intermedios en el Estado autonómico)
Fundación Democracia y Gobierno Local, Madrid 2011

Asymmetrical Federalism in the Multinational Federation: A Comparative Study of Asymmetrical Federalism in Canada and Spain
Alixandra Funk, Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010.

60 Jahre Bundesrat: Die Rolle der Regionen im europäischen Einigungsprozess
Uwe Jun, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Baden-Baden 2011.

El sistema de financiación de las comunidades autónomas: comentario a la Ley 22/2009, de 28 de diciembre, tras la sentencia del Estatuto catalán
José María Lago Montero, Dykinson, Madrid 2010.

The role of the regions in EU governance
Carlo Panara, Springer, Berlín 2011.

Llengua i reivindicacions nacionals a Catalunya: evolució de les habilitats dels usos i de la transmissió lingüística (1997-2008)
Ernest Querol, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona 2009.

British Political Parties and National Identity: A Changing Discourse, 1997-2010
Pauline Schnapper, Cambridge Scholars Publishing , 2011.

La participación de las Comunidades Autónomas en el procedimiento legislativo europeo

Juan Ignacio Ugartemendia Eceizabarrena, Gobierno Vasco. Instituto Vasco de Administración Pública, Bilbao 2011.

Horizontal Federalism
Joseph F. Zimmerman, State University of New York Press, 2011.

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