Spanish Constitutional Court partly lifts suspension on Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Article written by Catalan News Agency, 29th June 2016

Photo: Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva (by ACN)

Barcelona (CNA).- The functions and structure of the Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs are no longer suspended. The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) lifted this Wednesday the cautionary suspension on these points but has kept that referring to the department’s name. The magistrates at the TC continue to believe that the denomination of the ‘Catalan Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ could represent an invasion of the Spanish State’s competences on this matter. However, they considered that the functions and structure of the department match the Catalan Government’s competences, as far as they are limited to “foreign projection”. The Catalan Ministry, led by former MEP Raül Romeva, was taken before the court after the TC accepted an appeal presented by the Spanish executive, which considered the Catalan government to have exceeded the competences in matters of foreign action specified in the Catalan Statute of Autonomy.

Thus, according to the TC, the Catalan Government is free to act in foreign projection, as is specified in the Catalan Statue of Autonomy, but such activity can’t under any circumstances represent the attribution of competences which are of international subject, which means that Catalonia can’t undertake international diplomacy nor sign treaties which may affect the competences of the Spanish Government.

In particular, regarding the functions of the Catalan Ministry, the magistrates have lifted the suspension on article 3.31 of the 2/2016 decree, which attributes to the Catalan Ministry the competence of “coordinating foreign action” and article 3.3.2 of the same decree, which attributed to the Catalan Government the legal authority to coordinate “foreign relationships and the role of the Generalitat before the EU institutions”.

In relation to the structure, the magistrates leave without effect the suspension which affected section 1.1 b) of decree 45/2016, which established the creation of a Secretary for Foreign Affairs and the European Union within the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Transparency and section 20 of the same decree, which foresaw the functions of the Secretary.

Name of institution still suspended


Read the full article here.

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