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Il patto di stabilità e la governance multi livello. Limiti europei e finanza pubblica locale: l'esperienza spagnola

Francisco Alfredo García Prats

The present text corresponds to a written version of a conference held in the Senate of the Italian Republic in Rome on November 28th 2011 under the title Patto di stabilità e governance multilivello. Vincoli europei e finanza locale nelle esperienze nazionali, organized by the IFEL whose results will be jointly published. The author can be reached at The present article is part of the Research Project granted by the Spanish Ministry of Education under the title El control del ordenamiento tributario español desde la óptica constitucional y comunitaria: análisis y propuestas.

L’articolo esplora le misure adottate in Spagna per affrontare le difficoltà di bilancio nel finanziamento degli enti locali e la sua idoneità ad invertire il ciclo economico e a creare crescita e occupazione in modo sostenibile.

La Spagna ha approvato già dal 2001 numerose misure d’implementazione della stabilità, misure che incidono in modo particolare sugli enti locali. Il lavoro è terminato il 30 novembre 2011 e quindi non include gli emendamenti previsti dalla Ley organica n. 2 del 27 aprile 2012, in materia di Stabilità di bilancio e sostenibilità finanziaria, pubblicata in Spagna sulla Rivista ufficiale il 30 aprile, ed altre misure riguardanti i debiti degli enti pubblici locali. L’articolo analizza i cambiamenti rilevanti di ordine giuridico e costituzionale, relativi al controllo e alla supervisione delle misure che incidono sul principio di sufficienza che governa la cornice costituzionale riguardante il finanziamento degli enti locali e la sua legittimità costituzionale alla luce della dottrina della Corte costituzionale spagnola.

Articoli Correlati: finanza pubblica locale - patto di stabilitÓ - debito pubblico

Stability Pact and multi-level Governance. European constraints and local public finance: the Spanish experience

The article explores the measures taken in Spain to face budgetary difficulties in local entities financing and its suitability to reverse the economic cycle and create growth and employment in a sustainable manner. Spain has approved since 2001 several measures implementing stability measures that affect in a special way Local entities. The article was closed on November 30th 2011 and does not therefore include the amendments included by the Ley Orgánica 2/2012, of April 27th, de Estabilidad Presupuestaria y Sostenibilidad Financiera, published in the Spanish official journal on April 30th and some other measures facing pending debts of public local entities. The article analyzes the relevant legal and constitutional changes made relating to control and supervision measures that affect the sufficiency principle that governs the constitutional framework regarding the financing of local entities and its constitutional validity according to the doctrine of the Spanish Constitutional Court.

Keywords: local public finance, stability pact, financial stability, constitutional principles, public debt, public deficit

1. Introduction: the structural and territorial legal framework of Spain The actual economic and financial crisis in some EU countries has shown that the monetary union should be accompanied by a more coordinated fiscal policy at the EU level in order to guarantee the sustainability of the European social model as it is actually known. While discussing which measures need to be implemented and the proper mechanisms to put in place to guarantee the mutual equilibrium and satisfaction among Euro Member States, there is a need to foresee which measures have been implemented since now in different EU Member States. Obviously, one of the main actors in the configuration of the stability parameters are the local entities which, generally speaking, suffer the budgetary restrictions in the performance of their functions and the rendering of their public services. Therefore, it is important to know in detail what type of measures have been taken since now by EU Member Countries, and in particular Spain, to see to which extent they may be also considered in other countries facing the same or similar budgetary difficulties. On the consideration that, finally, the key point of the analysis should be directed to enhance economic and fiscal policy measures that were able to reverse the economic cycle and create growth and employment in a sustainable manner. Spanish Constitution (hereinafter, CE) recognizes the financial sufficien­cy of Local Entities (art. 142 CE) in order to safeguard the autonomy reco­gnized to municipalities. The Constitution requires that Local Public Finances must dispose of sufficient means for the development of the functions attributed to the local Corporations (municipalities and provinces) by law, and recognizes that Local Finances will be basically funded through “own taxes” and participations in the means of the State and the Autonomous Communities. As the Local Entities do not dispose of attribution of legal power, the basic legal framework of the Local Public Finances is established by the State through law as derived from article 149.1.14 CE, the Law of Local Pu­blic Finances (hereinafter, LHL, Ley de Haciendas Locales, RDL 2/2004, of 5 March, approving the Consolidated Text of the Law of Local Public Finances). Local revenues do not only come from own taxes, but also and mainly from transfers and subsidies granted by the State and Autonomous Communities, which in any case must be [continua ..]

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