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To What Extent Can Spain Be Callled Federal When Compared With German Federalism?

2319 words - 10 pages

To what extent can Spain be called federal when compared with German federalism?

This paper will serve to answer the question in the subject. It is important to bear in mind that this question will be answered via a comparison. Because of this comparison a certain structure is maintained during this paper. It will discuss the key points of the German political form first, where after the key points of Spain will be discussed. These two forms will be compared to each other, to expose to what extend Spain is a federal State.

For the purpose of this paper, federalism entails that there needs to b e a form of political integration whereby the states, transfer sovereign powers to the ...view middle of the document...

This political form cannot be amended.
The federation is divided into sixteen states, which are called ‘Länder’, covered by a federal government. These states participate in the legislation and administration of the federation, and matters of the European Union, through the Bundesrat, the federal government. Each state has its own government of which the members appoint and recall the members of the Bundesrat. Its role is similar to an upper house in a bicameral parliament. Depending on population size the States are herein represented via a certain number of votes. The federal government is headed by a federal chancellor and is accountable to the Bundestag. The State Germany is headed by the Federal President.
The parliament of the federation is directly elected and is called the ‘Bundestag’. Proportional representation between states is pursued in the Bundestag. Each state has its own parliament as well.
Where legislative power is not conferred on to the Federation, the states have the right to legislate. The legislative power of the states is laid down in the Basic Law. The constitution divides competences between the federal government and the states. There can be exclusive or concurrent competences. In the case of an exclusive competence only the federal lawmaker can legislate. The federal government has exclusive legislative competences in the fields of defense, foreign affairs, immigration, transportation, communications and currency standards. Concurrent competences are the competences where the states can legislate only when and in as far as the federal lawmaker has not legislated. The shared competences between the states and the federal governments are civil law, refugee law, public welfare, land management, consumer protection, and public health. The federal law has supremacy over state law. Once adopted, states are expected to execute federal legislation. There are also areas in which the federal government offers general policy guidelines, such as mass media or nature conservation. These guidelines are acted upon by the states.
The power of the legislative initiative lies with the government, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Bundestag has more powers than the Bundesrat.
The head of state is the president of Germany. The Federal President represents the stat. The head of Government is the Federal Chancellor. The Chancellor is elected by and responsible to the Bundestag. The Federal Ministers are chosen by the Chancellor. The bundestag has to agree on a successor before the Chancellor can be removed, the vote of no confidence. Ordinarily the Chancellor has a four-year term of office.
Germany’s judiciary is independent from the executive and the legislature, as encoded in the constitution. The judicial system is divided on the basis of hierarchy; state courts are inferior to the supreme courts, which are federal courts. The Federal Constitutional Court may only judge on constitutional matter, the Federal Court of Justice...

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