Regional Development Policy in Spain: Instruments and Mechanisms

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2015-5-41-51

Prokhorenko I., Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Acknowledgements. The work is executed according to the fundamental studies programme of the Presidium of RAS no. 31, project 6.6 “Foreign Experience of Regional Policy, and Possibilities of Its Usage in Russia”. 

Abstract. The article explores practices of the regional development policy in Spain (in other words, regional policy) as the central government’s regulation of economic and territorial development, with a view to their possible efficiency for the Russian Federation. The author singles out Spanish regions (17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities) and local communities (provinces, municipalities and islands) as objects of the regional development policy, reviews goals and objectives of this policy. The paper focuses on analyzing, particularizing and comparing of instruments and mechanisms relevant to this policy line of the Spanish state, its institutional and political aspects in time of Franco's rule and during the post-Francoist period. The variation of economic development in the regions of Spain, different parameters of this variation and some factors of the autonomous communities' economic development are estimated. The specific character of interrelationship between central, regional and local authorities in the context of the Spanish State of Autonomies and of the territorial development dynamics, the peculiarities of the operational inter-budgetary relations model, problems of the local government and self-government as well as of decentralization of metro- and megapolises’ governance are examined. The questions of public discussions in Spanish society about the outcome and efficiency of the central government’s regional development policy are touched upon. The regional development policy in Spain is considered as extremely politicized, semi-structured, contentious and ambiguous in consequence of the legal and socio-economic asymmetry of the autonomous communities and also of the ongoing process of federalization in Spain. As in recent years Spain is steadily losing its previous status of the subsidized territory and is turning into a donor of the European Union regional policy, it is necessary for Spanish authorities to make the regional development policy more active and to take a different view of its objectives and opportunities.

Keywords: regional policy of Spain, regional development policy of Spain, regions of Spain, Spanish State of Autonomies, autonomous communities, decentralization, local self-government, European integration

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For citation:
Prokhorenko I. Regional Development Policy in Spain: Instruments and Mechanisms. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2015, no. 5, pp. 41-51.

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