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​​HISTORICAL BACKGROUND


Title VIII of the Spanish Constitution of December 27, 1978 (Territorial Organization of the State) laid down the foundations of a new pattern of territorial decentralization for which a legal and technical neologism was specially coined: the “Autonomic State” (el Estado autonómico), i.d. one made up of different self-governing regions called “Comunidades Autónomas”, i.e. “Self-governing Communities”. As the Constitution did not specify the number or the names of the future Communities, leaving it to the free decision of each of the 50 (fifty) provinces of the national territory either to set itself up as an individual self-governing entity or to merge with one or more neighbouring provinces into a larger Community, the country’s new territorial organization took some years to complete, namely from the end of 1979 until early 1983, when it was finally completed, with 17 (seventeen) brand-new Communities (one of them the province of Madrid), each with its own founding Self-Government Act or Statute of Autonomía), duly adopted by the two-Chamber Spanish Parliament (Cortes Generales).

As part of this process and under the provisions of Sections 144.a), 146 and 147 of the Constitution, the Madrid Community was created by the Institutional Act (Ley Orgánica) 3/1983, of February 25, adopting Madrid’s Devolution Statute (Estatuto de Autonomía).

We must recall that Sect. 152, subs. 1, of the Constitution had designed an institutional framework which eventually became the only one applicable to every Community, consisting of:

  • A one-Chamber law-making Assembly (Asamblea Legislativa).
  • A Government Council (Consejo de Gobierno), i.e. a regional Cabinet, with its own President (the regional Primer Minister), elected by the Assembly among its members and appointed by the King.
  • A High Court of Justice (Tribunal Superior de Justicia), as teh State’s highest judicial body in the whole Community and subject to the final authority of the Kingdom’s Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo).
Totally in keeping with this constitutional structure, the Statute of Devolution for Madrid, both in its initial phrasing and in the amendments adopted by Institutional Acts 2/2991, of March 13, and 5/1998, of July 7, proclaims in Section 8 the Assembly the Community’s first and foremost self-government body, and goes on to define it in Section 9 as the law-making body representing the people of Madrid.

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The Assembly of Madrid’s first formal opening took place, under the mandatory timetable set out in the Royal Decree calling for regional elections, on the 8th of June 1983 at the auditorium (Paraninfo) of the “big unshapely building” (“el Caserón”) of Madrid University in the city center, and the Assembly was officially inaugurated by its first Speaker Mr. Ramón Espinar Gallego. The regional Parliament of Madrid is therefore nearing its first quarter of century, in other words its 25th birthday, and is currently in its tenth four-year regular mandate.
 

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