|Government of Spain|
|Spanish: Gobierno de España|
Logo of the Government of Spain
|Established||15 January 1834|
|Country||Kingdom of Spain|
|Main organ||Council of Ministers|
|Responsible to||Cortes Generales|
|Constitution instrument||Government Act of 1997|
|Prime Minister||Pedro Sánchez|
|Deputy Prime Minister||Carmen Calvo Poyato|
|Number of members||18|
The Government of Spain (Spanish: Gobierno de España) is the central government which leads the executive branch and the General State Administration of the Kingdom of Spain. It is also commonly referred to as the Government of the Nation, or simply the Government.
The Government consists of the Prime Minister and the Ministers; the prime minister has the overall direction of the Ministers and can appoint or terminate their appointments freely and all of them belong to the supreme decision-making body, known as the Council of Ministers. The Government is responsible before the Parliament (Cortes Generales), and more precisely before the Congress of the Deputies, a body which elects the Prime Minister or dismisses him through a motion of censure. This is because Spain is a parliamentary system established by the Constitution of 1978.
Its fundamental regulation is placed in Title IV of the Constitution, as well as in Title V of that document, with respect to its relationship with the Cortes Generales, and in Law 50/1997, of 27 November, of the Government. According to Article 97 of the Constitution and Article 1.1 of the Government Act, "the Government directs domestic and foreign policy, the civil and military administration and the defense of the State. It exercises the executive function and the regulatory regulation according to the Constitution and the laws".
The current prime minister is Pedro Sánchez, who took office on 2 June 2018. He is the leader of the Socialist Workers' Party, which, at the time of his appointment, was the second biggest party in the Cortes Generales. Sánchez was appointed to lead the Government through a motion of no confidence against former prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who had filled that office since 2011. This was the first election of a prime minister via motion of no confidence in Spanish history.
The Government's performance is governed by the following operating principles:
The Kingdom of Spain is a constitutional monarchy in which executive decisions are made by the Government. More specifically, the Spanish Constitution describes Spain's form of government as "Monarquía parlamentaria," or parliamentary monarchy, in which the monarch acts as a moderator rather than a source of executory authority. Spain possesses an asymmetric bicameral parliament, called the "Cortes Generales," composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. While both the Congress and Senate propose legislation, albeit by different procedural mechanisms, the Government has the right to be consulted for such proposals. The Government may also propose law directly. A Government-sponsored bill is known as a proyecto de ley, contrasting with a proposición de ley which is offered by a house of parliament.
Neither the prime minister nor the ministers need to be members of parliament, but the Government must account to both the Senate and Congress every week in a parliamentary meeting known as a sesión de control (control session) (Part V § 108). Questioning minor-rank ministers, such as Secretaries of State or Under Secretaries, must be done in Parliamentary Committees. While the prime minister is typically elected from the members of Congress, the current prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was not a member of either chamber for the first year of his premiership.
Under the parliamentary system, the Government is required to maintain the confidence of the Congress of Deputies. In the absence of such confidence, the Government may fall or prove unable to pass legislation. There are two procedures to ascertain the Congress's confidence in the Government: the motion of no-confidence (Part V § 113), by which members of parliament can ask the Congress to rescind its confidence in the prime minister and to elect another, and the question of confidence (Part V § 112), by which the prime minister asks the Congress if it supports the Government's political programs generally or a specific piece of legislation. A loss by the Government in either case may result in the removal of the prime minister.
The Spanish monarch, currently King Felipe VI, is the head of state and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. As a monarch of a parliamentary monarchy, the executive power does not belong to The Crown and is independent from it. The Constitution gives the monarch a symbolic role, but also a moderating role, being able to intervene if there is a conflict between the country's institutions (Part II § 56).
As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, former King Juan Carlos I suppressed the 23-F Spanish coup d'état attempt in February 1981, showing that the monarch has more power than the constitution grants him. The heir presumptive is Leonor, Princess of Asturias.
The Constitution also gives the monarch some powers known as Royal Prerogatives. These prerogatives range from the signing of international treaties, to declaring war and making peace or to dissolving the parliament. However, with the arrival of democracy, these prerogatives have been regulated and most of them must to be countersigned by an official.
Although the monarch is not part of the executive power, the prime minister has weekly meetings with him to inform him about the Government's activity and the King can express his opinion. In the same sense, the monarch is normally invited to the first Council of Ministers of every new government (and others if the prime ministers wants to) and to the meetings of bodies such as the National Security Council or the National Defence Council.
The Royal prerogatives are:
To see the current members, see Current government.
According to Article 98 of the Spanish Constitution and Article 1.2 of the Government Law, the Government of Spain is composed of:
In accordance with article 11 of the Law of the Government, "to be a member of the Government it is required to be Spanish, adult, to enjoy the rights of active and passive suffrage, as well as not to be disabled to exercise employment or public office by sentence Judicial firm."
The initiation of a case for treason or against the security of the State can only respond to the initiative of a quarter of the Congress of Deputies, approved by an absolute majority thereof, and can not be granted a pardon in such cases.
The Caretaker Government is regulated in Section 101 of the Spanish Constitution which says that «the Government shall resign after the holding of general elections, in the event of loss of parliamentary confidence as provided in the Constitution, or on the resignation or death of the President. The outgoing Government shall continue as acting body until the new Government takes office».
Between the approval of the Constitution in 1978 and the approval of the Government Act of 1997, there were no explicit limitation to the Government powers while acting as acting government except for what the doctrine and parliamentary practice said. With this constitutional precept it was intended that the succession of one Government by another does not affect the fundamental continuity of the governmental action or that paralysis or dysfunctions occur in the system as a whole. This need of not leaving a modern state without its central governing body it is very good explained in a Supreme Court sentence saying that «It is easy to understand that Spain can not run out of government even for a few hours».
In 1997 it was passed the Government Act and the Caretaker Government is regulated in Title 4. In addition to the aforementioned constitutional provisions, Section 21 of the Government Act establish that «the caretaker government shall facilitate the normal development of the process of formation of the new Government and the transfer of powers to it and limit its duties to the ordinary office of public affairs, abstaining from adopting, except in cases of urgency duly accredited or for reasons of general interest whose accreditation expresses justify it, any other measures».
This article also establishes explicit limitations on the Prime Minister, preventing him from «proposing to the King the dissolution of any of the Chambers or the Cortes Generales, raising the question of confidence, or proposing to the King the calling for a consultative referendum» and on the Government prohibiting to it «the approval of the State General Budget Bill or presenting bills to the Cortes Generales». The government neither may exercise the legislative delegations that the parliament has granted to it while acting as a caretaker government.
On the occasion of the 2015-2016 caretaker government of Mariano Rajoy, the Government refused repeatedly to submit to the control of the Congress of Deputies alleging that there was no trust relationship between both powers for the fact of being an caretaker government and, therefore, there was no control of the legislative power over the executive. Faced with this situation, the Congress denounced the Executive Power before the Constitutional Court for refusing to submit to its control and, on 22 November 2018, the high court ruled that the Government «undermined the constitutional attribution» that the Constitution confers on Congress and that although «control of the Government's action will normally be exercised within the framework of the confidence that must exist between the Government and the Congress of Deputies», this does not mean that «exceptionally, as are the periods in which there is no relationship of trust between Congress and the Government, the aforementioned control function can not be exercised» since «the control function that corresponds to the Cortes Generales is implicit in its representative character and in the form of parliamentary government that establishes the Article 1.3 of the Constitution, not being able to deny the Chambers all exercise of the control function, since this would affect to the balance of powers foreseen in our Constitution».
The prime minister office as well as the official headquarters of the Government are located in the Palace of Moncloa, in outside Madrid. The Council of Ministers meetings also take place here. In this palace is also the office of the deputy prime minister, the headquarters of the Ministry of the Presidency and the office of the Government's Spokesperson. Most of the government departments are located in the center of the city of Madrid, having each of them its own buildings. One of the most famous place where some ministries are located is the gubernatorial complex of New Ministries.
The Spanish Government has two main advisory bodies:
The General State Budget is considered one of the most important legislations that a Government can pass. According to the Constitution, the Government is the only body that can make the Budget bill, although is the parliament who must to accept it, reject it or to propose modifications. If the Congress approves a full budget amend, the budget is automatically reject it.
Since the approval of the Constitution of 1978, Spain was established as a decentralized unitary country which grants its regions a high degree of autonomy. The first two regions to get their autonomy where the autonomous communities of the Basque Country and Catalonia in 1979. In 1981, four further regions achieved their autonomy: Andalusia, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia. A year later, seven more regions were granted autonomy: Aragon, the Canary Islands, Castile-La Mancha, Navarre, Murcia and La Rioja. The last four regions to get their autonomy were the Balearic Islands, Castile and León, Extremadura and Madrid, all of them in 1983.
The Constitution also grants the cities of Ceuta and Melilla autonomy, which they got in 1995. The Constitution also gives them the possibility to become fully autonomous communities, but so far these cities have not requested the activation of this clause.
|Prime Minister||Party||Term of office||Legislature|
|Adolfo Suárez||Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)||3 July 1976||26 February 1981||I|
|Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo||Union of the Democratic Centre (UCD)||26 February 1981||2 December 1982|
|Felipe González||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)||2 December 1982||5 May 1996||II, III, IV, V|
|José María Aznar||People's Party (PP)||5 May 1996||17 April 2004||VI, VII|
|José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)||17 April 2004||21 December 2011||VIII, IX|
|Mariano Rajoy||People's Party (PP)||21 December 2011||1 June 2018||X, XI, XII|
|Pedro Sánchez||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE)||1 June 2018||Present||XII, XIII, XIV|
| Sánchez II Government ->|
(13 January 2020 - present)
|Prime Minister||Pedro Sánchez MP||9 November 1823|
|1st Deputy Prime Minister||Carmen Calvo MP||3 October 1840|||
|Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Equality||19 July 1951|
|2nd Deputy Prime Minister||Pablo Iglesias|||
|Minister of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda|
|3rd Deputy Prime Minister||Nadia Calviño|||
|Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation|
|4th Deputy Prime Minister||Teresa Ribera|||
|Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation||Arancha González Laya||30 November 1714|||
|Minister of Justice
First Notary of the Kingdom
|Juan Carlos Campo MP||30 November 1714|||
|Minister of Defence||Margarita Robles MP||11 July 1705|||
|Minister of Finance||María Jesús Montero MP||11 July 1705|||
|Spokesperson of the Government|
|Minister of the Interior||Fernando Grande-Marlaska MP||19 March 1812|||
|Minister of Transports, Mobility and Urban Agenda,||José Luis Ábalos Meco MP||5 November 1832|||
|Minister of Education and Vocational Training||Isabel Celaá MP||31 March 1900|||
|Spokesperson of the Government|
|Minister of Labour and Social Economy||Yolanda Díaz MP||8 May 1920|||
|Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism||Reyes Maroto MP||12 June 1933|||
|Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||Luis Planas MP||31 March 1900|||
|Minister of Territorial Policy and Civil Service||Carolina Darias||5 April 1979|||
|Minister of Culture and Sport||José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes||4 July 1977|||
|Minister of Health||Salvador Illa||4 November 1936|||
|Ministry of Science and Innovation||Pedro Duque MP||5 April 1979|||
|Minister of Equality||Irene Montero MP|||
|Minister of Consumer Affairs||Alberto Garzón MP||13 January 2020|||
|Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration||José Luis Escrivá||13 January 2020|||
|Minister of Universities||Manuel Castells||13 January 2020|||
Although it is not a very common position within the Administration, it has existed the position of Commissioner or High Commissioner, a senior official normally holding the position of Secretary of State or Under Secretary, being entrusted with an especific task.
Currently, there are three Commissioners and High Commissioners:
Shown here is the official logo of the Government of Spain. On the left are the EU and the Spanish flags and in the centre is the coat of arms of Spain and the words Gobierno de España (in English: "Government of Spain"). The ministries' logos consist of additional yellow rectangles added to the right of the Government's logo, which read the name of the ministry in the same typographic style.