a network of constitutionalists from countries throughout the world
The IACL congratulates Professor María Jesús García Morales, (Professor of Constitutional Law at the Autonomous University of Barcelona) on the publication of her book Transparency and accountability of intergovernmental relations in the State of Autonomies (Transparencia y rendición de cuentas en las relaciones de cooperación intergubernalmental en el Estado Autonómico).
This book analyses the recent developments in Spain following the entry of the Spanish Law 19/2013, on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance. This law, which entered into force on 10 December 2014, provides for active disclosure requirements within the formal structure of intergovernmental relations in the State of Autonomies. It stipulates that Autonomous Communities may implement complementary measures to enforce such transparency obligations.
In relation to this legal development, this book provides a three-part analysis on: the legal perspective (the regulatory framework of cooperation in Spain and recent developments); an empirical perspective (the implementation and effectiveness of these laws); and a comparative perspective (our situation in light of some European federal systems).
Through her in-depth analysis, Professor García Morales concludes that the legal regulation of transparency in cooperation bodies in the State of Autonomies is comparatively uncommon, as whilst transparency may govern policy decisions, it is rarely regulated by law.
Following the regulation of transparency, major reforms have yet to be observed. Accordingly, there are still many areas of opacity, and intergovernmental conferences and other cooperation mechanisms have thus far not become more transparent by law.
Professor García Morales contends that closing the gap between legal regulation and implementing transparent relations will require a determined political will in order to find the necessary balance between the confidentiality inherent in executive body relations and the transparency the good governance compels.
Professor Garcia Morales’ book is available for free download here: http://www.gencat.cat/governacio/pub/sum/iea/IEAg_04.pdf
Maria Jesus Garcia Morales is a Professor of Constitutional Law at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona