The General Commission of the Autonomous Communities The Senate meets this Thursday to debate the “application of the principles of equality before the law of all Spaniards, and solidarity between the autonomies”, a title that actually serves as an umbrella to discuss the amnesty that Pedro Sánchez negotiates with the independentistas in exchange for their votes for the investiture. The debate, however, will be lame because the Government has decided not to attend the meeting because it understands that it is instrumentalized by the PP.
It is the largest commission in the Senate with twice as many members as the rest of the commissions. It is considered the authentic forum for territorial debate because the regional presidents can go there to learn about and speak out on the most important issues that affect the autonomies. Its scope of competence is very broad. Its creation was approved in January 1994. It introduced the possibility of using the co-official languages in the different territories of the State in its debates.
It is made up of senators appointed by the parliamentary groups that sit in the Upper House with the particularity that each of them appoints twice as many representatives as those who make up any other commission. Furthermore, senators by autonomous designation may participate in its sessions, even if they are not members of the Commission. To participate in the debate, they must register in advance. Regional presidents and members of their government councils can also participate, as well as any member of the central Executive who always has preference among speakers.
It may meet at the initiative of its president or a third of its members, at the proposal of the Senate Plenary or at the request of the central Government or an autonomous Executive. Today’s meeting is held at the initiative of the PP, the group that holds the absolute majority in the Chamber.
The Commission has been convened at 11:00 a.m. and will meet in the old Senate Plenary Hall. The order of interventions when regional presidents attend responds to the seniority of their respective autonomy statutes. In this way, the first turn corresponds to the Basque Country. He president, Íñigo Urkulluhas decided not to attend so that the session will be opened by the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Peter Aragonés. His intention is to intervene but not stay to listen to the rest of the speakers. After him, the presidents of Galicia, Andalusia, Cantabria, La Rioja, Murcia, Valencian Community, Aragon, Extremadura, Balearic Islands, Madrid, Castilla y León, Ceuta and Melilla will take the floor, always for a maximum of 10 minutes. Lastly, the vice president of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands will speak. The socialist presidents of Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra and Asturias have rejected the invitation. Next, the spokespersons of the groups in the Commission will also intervene for 10 minutes and finally the senators of autonomous designation who have previously registered will be able to do so for three minutes. Yesterday, late in the afternoon, four had requested it.