- About Castilla y León
- Geography and Population
- Historical and cultural community
- Autonomic institutions
- Castilla y León awards
About Castilla y León
About Castilla y León
The Constitution of 1978 marked the beginning of a decentralised process that took us to the current autonomies system. However, this was not the result of a new idea agreed among some politicians. The Constitution needed the general consensus and the Law for the Political Reform of 1976 facilitated the appropriate changes. However, an ideological undercurrent, of tens of years, was at the background of these changes.
The most immediate historic precedent, would be the anticentralist movements that happened through out the XIX and XX century in our country. These movements were against the vision of a centralised Spain and they followed the centralist system, since the beginning. There is no doubt of the federalist influences, which go back to the dawn of the Spanish constitucionalism, at the beginning of the XIX century. This way, we find that the first signs of anticentralism are the regional, Carlist, and federalist ideas. The failure of the Federal Republic of 1873 will mark the climax of the attempts to implement decentralised schemes.
Since the Law for the Political Reform of 1976 until the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spain will go through a particular process of provisional regimes of autonomies given by government decree to those territories interested, after negotiations with the Central Government. The process starting point is the government decree of 29th September 1977, by which the Catalan autonomous government is restored. After it, almost all the territory, except Madrid, Ceuta, Melilla and Navarra, was affected by the regimen that took place before the creation of the autonomous regional governments.
In 1977 took place in Spain the first democratic elections and the UCD central government, leaded by Adolfo Suárez, encouraged the autonomic process. In Castilla y León, and especially in Valladolid, that, meant the creation, in October of that same year, of the Member's of Parliament Regional Assembly. A few months after, the 13th of June 1978, it was created the General Council of Castilla y León. This body was in charge of managing the autonomic process. Its first President was Manuel Reol Tejada, UCD member of the regional Parliament for Burgos, followed by José Manuel García Verdugo. Another body, the Joint Committee of the Central Administration Representatives and the General Council of Castilla y León, created in November, would be in charge of the powers transfer.
This process, like it happened in most of the Spanish territory, was parallel to the constituent process, started in 1977. The end of this process, in 1978, let us define some guidelines in the creation of an autonomous region, like the way to agree the inclusion or not inclusion of a territory. Thus, by the end of 1978, in Castilla y León, there were guidelines to follow in order to create an autonomous region (given by the Constitution) and the bodies in charge to carry out the necessary tasks (like the General Council of Castilla y León). We needed the most important thing: to perform them.
It started then a tight work agenda. It was necessary to solve many matters, including the complex creation of the autonomous region the way we know it now. The creation of the Castilla y León autonomous region has been a long and complex process. While its creation, there was an open door for all the provinces that were part of the former Castilla La Vieja y León. Nevertheless, since the beginning, Santander and Logroño provinces choose to continue the one-province system, becoming the autonomous regions of Cantabria and La Rioja respectively.
The possibility to be part or not of the future autonomous region was a matter of choice. It could be reached by different means, and within the possibilities stated in the Constitution of 1978. To be part of it, Castilla y León had chosen the easiest way: to get the support of the County Councils and at least, two thirds, of the Town Halls whose population could represent most of the province. Then started the hard task to write the text of the Statute of Autonomy, a process that took over three years.
This autonomic process, observing the Constitution requirements, will take us to the approval of the Statute of Autonomy, which is the climax of the autonomous region creation. The Statute of Autonomy is a norm that, according to the article 147 of the Spanish Constitution, must include the following terms:
In short, the Statute specifies the basic region's profiles, their structural principles and the power's scope. Once the text of each region is writen, the Statute must be passed by the Spanish Parliament.
The 1st June 1981 started the constituent phase of the document for Castilla y León. That is why it was created the Assembly. Some time after, the text was aprroved and would become the Statute of Autonomy in a session that took place in Salamanca, the 27th June of that same year.
The document was discussed at the Parliament but its definitive approval had to wait, as its procedures coincide with the General Elections of 1982. Finally, it was approved the 25th February 1983. Segovia province, that in October 1979 had initially decided not to be part of the autonomic process of Castilla y León, would finally be part of it after the appropriate parliamentary procedures and the approval of the Organic Law bill of 1st March 1983.
Since its approval, the Castile and Leon Autonomy Statute has undergone three major reforms thanks to a general consensus between the main regional and national political forces, which have put Castile and Leon on an equal footing with Spain's most advanced autonomous communities in terms on powers and institutions. The first reform was brought in by the Organic Law 11/1994 of March 24 and the second by the Organic Law 4/1999 of January 8.
With the third reform, approved in the Parliament of Castile and Leon on November 21 2007, Castile and Leon has achieved the highest levels of self-government permitted under the current constitutional framework.