Spain | Constitutional provisions

Text of the Constitution (in English)

1. Provisions concerning the European Union

No specific provisions

2. Provisions concerning International Treaties

Art. 10 (2) The norms relative to basic rights and liberties which are recognized by the Constitution shall be interpreted in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international treaties and agreements on those matters ratified by Spain.

Art. 13 (2) Only Spaniards shall have the rights recognized in Article 23 except that which in keeping with the criteria of reciprocity may be established by treaty or law for the right to active and passive suffrage in municipal elections.

Art. 39 Children shall enjoy the protection provided for in the international agreements safeguarding their rights.

Art. 56 The King is the Head of State, the symbol of its unity and permanence. He arbitrates and moderates the regular functioning of the institutions, assumes the highest representation of the Spanish State in international relations, especially with the nations of its historical community, and exercises the functions expressly conferred on him by the Constitution and the laws.

Art. 63 The King accredits ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives. Foreign representatives in Spain are accredited before him.

It is incumbent upon the King to express the State's assent to international commitments through treaties, in conformity with the Constitution and the laws.

It is incumbent upon the King, following authorization by the Cortes Generales, to declare war and to make peace.

Art. 75 The Houses shall convene in Plenary sittings and in Committees.

The Houses may delegate to Standing Legislative Committees the approval of Government or non-governmental bills. However, the Plenary sitting may at any time demand that any Government or non-governmental bill that has been so delegated be debated and voted upon by the Plenary itself.

Excluded from the provisions of the foregoing paragraph are constitutional reform, international affairs, organic and basic acts and the Budget.

Art. 87 Legislative initiative belongs to the Government, the Congress and the Senate, in accordance with the Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Houses.

(...) An organic act shall lay down the manner and the requirements of the popular initiative for submission of non-governmental bills. In any case, no less than 500.000 authenticated signatures shall be required. This initiative shall not be allowed on matters concerning organic acts, taxation, international affairs or the prerogative of pardon.

Art. 93 By means of an organic law, authorization may be established for the conclusion of treaties which attribute to an international organization or institution the exercise of competences derived from the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the Parliament or the Government, depending on the cases, to guarantee compliance with these treaties and the resolutions emanating from the international or supranational organizations who have been entitled by this cession.

Art. 94 (1) The giving of the consent of the State to obligate itself to something by means of treaties or agreements shall require prior authorization of the Parliament in the following cases:

a) Treaties of a political nature;
b) Treaties or agreements of a military nature;
c) Treaties or agreements which affect the territorial integrity of the State or the fundamental rights and duties established in Title I;
d) Treaties or agreements which imply important obligations for the public treasury;
e) Treaties or agreements which involve modification or repeal of some law or require legislative measures for their execution.

(2) The House of Representatives and the Senate shall be immediately informed of the conclusion of the treaties or agreements.

Art. 95 (1) The conclusion of an international treaty which contains stipulations contrary to the Constitution shall require a prior constitutional revision.

(2) The Government or either of the Chambers may request the Constitutional Court to declare whether or not such a contradiction exists.

Art. 96 (1) Validly concluded international treaties once officially published in Spain shall constitute part of the internal legal order. Their provisions may only be abolished, modified, or suspended in the manner provided for in the treaties themselves or in accordance with general norms of international law.

(2) To denounce international treaties and agreements, the same procedure established for their approval in Article 94 shall be used.

Art. 97 The Government directs domestic and foreign policy, civil and military Administration, and the defense of the State. It exercises the executive function and regulatory power in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.

Art. 149 The State shall have exclusive competence over the following matters:

3ยบ International relations

3. Provisions concerning constitutional reform

Art. 166 The right to propose a Constitutional amendment shall be exercised under the terms contained in Article 87 (1) and (2).

Art. 167 (1) Bills on Constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority of three-fifths of the members of each Chamber. If there is no agreement between the Chambers, an effort to reach it shall be made by setting up a Joint Commission of Deputies and Senators which shall submit a text to be voted on by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

(2) If adoption is not obtained by means of the procedure outlined in the foregoing paragraph, and provided that the text has obtained a favorable vote by an absolute majority of the Senate, the House of Representatives may approve the amendment by a two-thirds vote.

(3) Once the amendment has been passed by the Parliament, it shall be submitted to a referendum for its ratification, if so requested by one tenth of the members of either Chamber within fifteen days after its passage.

Art. 168 (1) When a total revision of the Constitution is proposed, or a partial revision thereof, affecting the Preliminary Title, Chapter II, Section 1 of Title I, or Title II, the principle shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of each Chamber, and the Parliament shall immediately be dissolved.

(2) The Chambers elected must ratify the decision and proceed to examine the new Constitutional text, which must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of both Chambers.

(3) Once the amendment has been passed by the Parliament, it shall be submitted to ratification by referendum.

Art. 169 A Constitutional amendment may not be initiated in time of war or when any of the states outlined in Article 116 are in operation.

4. Provisions concerning referendums

Art. 92 (1) Political decisions of special importance may be submitted for a consultative referendum of all the citizens.

(2) The referendum shall be convoked by the King at the proposal of the President of the Government after previous authorization by the House of Representatives.

(3) An organic law shall regulate the conditions and the procedure of the different kinds of referendums provided for in this Constitution.