Spain 1978 Constitution (reviewed 2011)

Table of Contents



In territories with a provisional self-government regime, their higher corporate bodies may, by means of a resolution adopted by the overall majority of their members, assume for themselves the initiative for autonomy which section 143, subsection 2, confers upon the Provincial Councils or corresponding inter-island bodies.


The territories which in the past have, by plebiscite, approved draft Statutes of Autonomy and which at the time of the promulgation of this Constitution, have provisional self-government regimes, may proceed immediately in the manner contemplated in section 148, subsection 2, if agreement to do so is reached by the overall majority of their pre self- government higher corporate bodies, and the Government shall be duly informed. The draft Statutes shall be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of section 151, subsection 2, where so requested by the pre Self-government assembly.


The right to initiate the process towards self-government conferred on local authorities or their members, provided in section 143, subsection 2, shall be postponed for all purposes until the first local elections have taken place, once the Constitution has come into force.


  1. In the case of Navarra, and for the purpose of its integration into the General Basque Council or into the autonomous Basque institutions which may replace it, the procedure contemplated by section 143 of this Constitution shall not apply. The initiative shall lie instead with the appropriate historic institution (órgano foral), whose decision must be taken by the majority of its members. The initiative shall further require for its validity the ratification by a referendum expressly held to this end and approval by the majority of votes validly cast.
  2. If the initiative does not succeed, it may only be repeated during a further term of office of the competent Foral body and, in any case, after the minimum period laid down in section 143 has elapsed.


The cities of Ceuta and Melilla may set themselves up as Self-governing Communities if their respective City Councils so decide in a resolution adopted by the overall majority of their members and if the Cortes Generales so authorize them by an organic act, under section 144.


Where several draft Statutes are referred to the Constitutional Committee of the Congress, they shall be considered in the order in which they are received. The two month period referred to in section 151 shall be counted from the moment in which the Committee completes its study of the draft or of the drafts that it has successively examined.


The provisional self-government bodies shall be considered to be dissolved in the following cases:

  1. Once the bodies provided for by the Statutes of Autonomy passed in conformity with the Constitution have been set up.
  2. In the event that the initiative for the obtention of autonomy status should not be successful for non-compliance with the requirements of section 143.
  3. If the relevant body has not exercised the right recognized in the First Transitional Provision within a period of three years.


  1. Once the present Constitution has come into force, the Houses that have adopted it shall assume the functions and powers set out therein for the Congress and the Senate respectively. Provided that under no circumstances shall their term of office continue beyond June 15, 1981.
  2. With regard to the provisions of section 99, the promulgation of the Constitution shall be considered as creating the constitutional basis for the subsequent application of those provisions. To this end, there shall be a thirty day period, as from the date of the promulgation, for implementing the provisions contained in said section.During this period, the current President of the Government assuming the functions and powers vested by the Constitution for this office, may decide to use the authority conferred by section 115 or, through resignation, leave the way open for application of section 99. In the latter case, the situation as regards the President shall be that provided in subsection 2 of section 101.
  3. In the event of dissolution, in accordance with section 115, and if the provisions contained in sections 68 and 69 have not been enacted, the rules previously in force shall apply to the ensueing elections, except for causes of ineligibility and incompatibilities, to which section 70, subsection 1, paragraph b), of this Constitution shall be directly applicable, as well as its provisions concerning voting age and those of section 69, subsection 3.


Three years after the election of the members of the Constitutional Court of the first tie, lots shall be drawn to choose a group of four members of the same electoral origin who are to resign and be replaced. The two members appointed following proposal by the Government and the two appointed following proposal by the General Council of the Judicial Power shall be considered as members of the same electoral origin exclusively for this purpose. After three years have elapsed, the same procedure shall be carried out with regard to the two groups not affected by the aforementioned drawing of lots. Thereafter, the provisions contained in subsection 3 of section 159 shall apply.