Dozens of new laws at risk due to early Spain elections

by Lorraine Williamson
government laws

MADRID – By announcing early elections, Prime Minister Sánchez of Spain has sidelined parliament. Parliament has already been dissolved. As a result, all parliamentary initiatives that were still pending are suspended. 

While it is true, according to La Razón newspaper, that the coalition government had already dealt with most of its legislative agenda, this does not prevent around 60 bills, or almost 40%, from seeing the light of day. According to the Parliament Register, this government has launched 153 parliamentary initiatives. Of those 60 bills still pending, more than half (33) come from royal decrees approved by the government. The partners have demanded that these decrees be treated as bills to be able to make amendments. Of the 60 government bills still pending, a few are significant. This includes laws that were believed to be difficult to pass. Striking examples are, for example, the family law of Podemos. 

Care leave 

The most important measure in this was the creation of three paid care leaves. The first concerns five days of leave per year to care for a family member up to the second degree or a cohabitant. The second concerns parental leave of eight weeks to enjoy a child continuously or intermittently until the child turns eight. Finally, there is a four-day leave to care for a family member who needs immediate attention, for example, a parent has to pick up a sick child from school. 

Organisational efficiency law 

Also, the law for organisational efficiency in the service of the public administration of justice remains untouched. This included measures to appease judges’ protests and an “anti-squatters” plan following the controversial Housing Act.

Darias Law 

In the field of health care, two normative projects remain untouched: the “Darias” law, which aimed to limit the possibilities of privatising health services in its fight against the right, and the law to create a public health agency after the pandemic. 

National Security Act 

Beyond these laws, the reform of the law for national security also remains untouched. This one is very important after the pandemic but has been stuck in parliament for months. However, the PSOE was unable to garner sufficient support for the reform. After the ERC (nationalist Catalan party) tabled an amendment, the governing party PSOE needed support from the Partido Popular. 

Sustainable Mobility Act 

The law on sustainable mobility will also fail. This is required by Europe to be eligible for the distribution of European funds. Theoretically, that law was supposed to include the way to finance high-capacity roads (alternative tolling mechanisms). 

Symbolic bills 

Finally, four bills that La Razón called ‘symbolically’ failed to pass parliament: the law on human trafficking; the parity law, which obliges political parties, institutions and companies to reserve a quota for women in decision-making bodies; the law to reform the control of the National Investigation Service; and a new law on state secrets. 

Abolition of pimping 

There is a distinction between bills, which are proposed by the government, and bills, which are proposed by parliamentary groups. Concerning the first, more than a hundred have remained in the treatment phase. The most notable here was the proposal that sought to abolish pimping. 

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