Bilateral Cooperation Commissions

The Bilateral Cooperation Commissions were constituted at the end of the 1980s, without any specific legal provision, as bilateral cooperation bodies between the State and the Autonomous Communities, each of them being regulated by their respective internal rules of procedure.

The first legal regulation of the Bilateral Cooperation Commissions took place through Law 30/1992, of 26 November, on the Legal System and Common Administrative Procedure. Article 5.2 of the same defined them as bilateral cooperation bodies of general scope that bring together members of the Government, representing the General State Administration, and members of the Governing Council, representing the Administration of the respective Autonomous Community. It is created by agreement, which determines the essential elements of its regime.

These Commissions were given new functions with the reform of article 33 Organic law of the Constitutional Court  by means of Organic Law 1/2000, of 7 January, with the aim of avoiding conflicts before the Constitutional Court.

Most of the Statutes of Autonomy approved in 2006 and 2007 regulated bilateral cooperation more extensively, mainly through Bilateral Commissions. Thus, the Statutes of Catalonia, Andalusia, Aragon, Castile and Leon, Extremadura and the Canary Islands gave greater importance to the Bilateral Cooperation Commissions as permanent general cooperation bodies. In addition, the Statutes of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Aragon and Extremadura created other specific bodies for cooperation in economic and fiscal matters.

Subsequently, the Law 40 / 2015 ,of 1 October, on the legal regime for the public sector, in its article 153 ,regulates these bilateral cooperation bodies, without prejudice to the peculiarities established in the Statutes of Autonomy regarding the organization and functions of the Bilateral Commissions, in accordance with the basic purposes envisaged.