Simone Pitto

Tools for participation in the Spanish experience between representative resistances and new openings oriented towards the better regulation principles

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The democratic system envisaged by the Spanish Constitution of 1978 shows a preference for representative democracy. In addition, the Spanish Constitutional Court provided a strict interpretation of constitutional provisions on direct participation of citizens in public affairs, affirming that only certain forms of participation connected to direct democracy shall fall within the protection granted by Article 23 CE. Recently however a renewed interest for participatory democracy may be appreciated in Spanish legal system both under the statutes of certain autonomous communities both under national law. Indeed an ambitious reform of administrative proceedings was approved in 2015 and included several provisions on participation of citizens in the definition of normative acts and in general in the rulemaking process. Nevertheless such reform triggered broad criticisms and certain provisions of Spanish Statute law 39/2015 have been declared unconstitutional by the Spanish Constitutional Court in view of their impact on legislative prerogatives of the autonomous communities envisaged by the Spanish Constitution.


  • Participatory democracy
  • Better regulation
  • Autonomous communities
  • Spanish Constitution


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