Checking date: 21/02/2023

Course: 2023/2024

Spanish and European Institutions
Hispanic Studies (Plan: 285 - Estudio: 84)


Department assigned to the subject:

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Given that this is a course of general knowledge of political systems, it is not necessary to pass any other previous courses.
This course focuses on the study of both Spanish and European political institutions. Its aim is to bring the students an approach about their future professional practice in the public field. It is a general course that will provide a general knowledge of several political systems in the world. Through the study of the Spanish Government organization will provide an analysis of the resemblances and different with other political systems. In this course we will analyze different constitutional law matters in order to achieve a reasonable knowledge about both political system of Spain and Europe. First of all, we will examine general concepts such as forms of government, both parliamentary and presidential systems, and the European Political System.
Description of contents: programme
A.- INTRODUCTION Lesson 1 ¿ General Concepts. a) The historical bases of the State. b) Great principles of institutional organization. c) The State and the European Union. B.- SPANISH INSTITUTIONS Lesson 2 ¿ The Chief of State. a) Parliamentary Monarchy. b) The status of the Chief of State. c) Functions of the Chief of State and his institutional role. d) Succession, Regency and Counselling. Lesson 3 ¿ Legislative Power: The Cortes Generales I. a) Structure. b) Composition. c) Operation. d) The electoral system. e) The party system. Lesson 4 ¿ Legislative Power: The Cortes Generales II. a) Legislative functions. b) Budgetary functions. c) Supervisory functions. d) Other functions. e) The institutional role of Legislative Power. Lesson 5 ¿ The Government. a) Nomination and suspension: parliamentary trust. b) Structure. c) Composition. d) Functions. e) The political direction of the Government. Lesson 6 ¿ Public Administration. a) The State and Public Administrations. b) Types of Administrations. c) Principles of operation. d) Supervision. Lesson 7 ¿ The Judiciary. a) The jurisdictional function. b) The Status of the Judiciary and its members. c) Structure. d) The General Council of the Judiciary. e) The Judiciary and political reality. Lesson 8 ¿ The Constitutional Court. a) Composition and appointment. b) Organization and operation. c) Competences. d) The Constitutional Court, constitutional development and political reality. Lesson 9 ¿ Other Institutions. a) The Ombudsman. b) The National Audit Office. c) The Council of State. d) The Economic and Social Council. Lesson 10 ¿ The Territorial organization of the State I a) The territorial form of the State. b) Local administration: general aspects. c) Provinces. d) Municipalities. e) Other local entities. Lesson 11 ¿ The Territorial organization of the State II a) Regional decentralization. b) The territorial map. c) Types of Autonomous Communities. d) The way they are articulated with the State. e) The debate on territorial organization. Lesson 12 ¿ Other protagonists in political life. a) Political parties. b) Trade unions and business groups. c) The media. d) The role of the Catholic Church. C.- THE EUROPEAN UNION Lesson 13 ¿ Fundamental Principles. a) The historical development of the European integration process. b) The legal and political nature of the European Union. c) The competences of the European Union. d) The structure of the European Union: the three pillars. e) Other instruments of European integration: special reference to the Council of Europe. Lesson 14 ¿ Institutions of the European Union. a) The Council. b) The Commission. c) The European Parliament. d) Judicial entities: The Justice Court. e) Other entities.
Learning activities and methodology
1.- At the end of each class, students will be required to resolve a written exercise provided by the professor previously. These exercises will account for two points of the final exam. 2.- Around middle of the course, students will be required to take a midterm exam about the topics explained until that moment. This will account for two points of the final grade 3.- The final exam will consist of two theoretical questions to choose between three topics of the course. This will account for six points of the final grade. It will be scheduled a visit to the Congress (Spanish House of Representatives) or the Senate in order to attend to a live plenary session, in which Prime Minister or Ministers participate. This event will provide knowledge about how the Chambers work. The goal of this method is to develop both abilities and competences of students. The Professor will provide necessary documents of each topic to make easier the study of the current course.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
  • BALAGUER CALLEJÓN, Francisco (coord.). . Manual de Derecho Constitucional.. Tecnos.. 2014
  • BIGLINO, Paloma; BILBAO, Juan María; REY, Fernando; MATIA, Javier; VIDAL, José Miguel (coord.). . Lecciones de Derecho Constitucional II.. Lex Nova.. 2013
  • LÓPEZ GUERRA, Luis; ESPÍN, Eduardo; GARCÍA MORILLO, Joaquín; PÉREZ TREMPS, Pablo; SATRÚSTEGUI, Miguel. . Derecho Constitucional.. Tirant lo blanch. . 2013
  • PÉREZ ROYO, Javier; CARRASCO DURÁN, Manuel. . Curso de Derecho Constitucional.. Marcial Pons.. 2012
  • ÁLVAREZ CONDE, Enrique; TUR AUSINA, Rosario. . Derecho Constitucional.. Tecnos.. 2013
Additional Bibliography
  • ARAGÓN, Manuel. . Dos estudios sobre la Monarquía parlamentaria en la Constitución española.. Civitas.. 1990
  • GARCÍA FERNÁNDEZ, J.. "Estudios sobre el Gobierno".. Instituto Nacional de la Administración Pública.. 2007
  • SANTAOLALLA, F. . "Derecho Parlamentario español".. Espasa-Calpe. 1990

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.