Margallo, during his speech in the Arab House.
Eva Cantón. Madrid.
In the middle of the electoral backlash after the European elections, which have certified the decline of the two-party system, the minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo, has outlined a proposal to revise the functioning of the institutions that have ruled the life of the Spanish people since the Transition.
During a debate organized in the Arab House by the Foundation Spanish Transition and the International University Menéndez Pelayo, the head of the Spanish diplomacy has suggested “updating” the Spanish Constitution of 1978 if there is an agreement for that and the “same spirit of concord” that the writing of the Magna Carta presided.
A globalized world, a Europe taking “gigantic steps” and institutions that are now “old” or have running problems, such as the Constitutional Court. Those are the arguments that the minister offered to justify his initiative.
Basically, it would be about searching for the necessary consensus to establish a catalogue of subjects that should be dealt with. Among those subjects, those related to freedoms, the reform of the electoral law –including the debate on the system of open and closed lists–, the reform of the Senate or the system of autonomous funding.
Concerning the last matter, Margallo defended the “joint responsibility” as the key principle in a territorial “complex and plural” model such as the Spanish one, so that all the levels of the government are responsible for finding the necessary funds to guarantee the same level of services in the entire territory.
He also talked about the distribution of competences between the central, autonomous and local Administrations that avoids tensions and disputes. In this sense, he suggested that the Senate could be entrusted with the responsibility of watching over the principle of subordination that, in his opinion, should rule the competition distribution.
As for the revision of the electoral legislation, the minister admitted his preference for the system of the double list that “strengthens those guaranteeing the nation’s governability”.
He suggests starting a reflection to “update” the agreement on coexistence of 1977
The minister mentioned during his speech the “start of the end of the two-party system” that some predict in view of the escape of voters of the two main political parties, as well as the debate of the assumed “depletion” of the Constitution that, in his opinion, has no foundations.
In any case, he did defend starting a reflection on what is happening in the world, in the European Union and in Spain “to know what we have to do in order to update the coexistence agreements and the social contract that we had in 1977”.
“I know that we all consider the Constitution with sympathy, as something that deserves to be preserved and respected. That also makes us see what we have to modify in order to preserve the essential values of the Constitution”, he stated.
Besides, as in previous occasions, in face of the pro-independence drifts he wanted to make clear that “none of the areas in the territory is legitimized to impose its own solutions”. “What we pass in full democracy, has to be solved in full democracy too”, he summed up.