The purpose of this chapter is to examine the national co-ordination of European Union (EU) policy in Spain. It concentrates on the processes that take place in Madrid, and using a threefold categorization, examines the mechanisms used by central government in its dealings with the other main actors involved in the process. The first set of relationships are horizontal, and relate to non-governmental actors, including the Parliament, political parties, and interest groups; the second set are vertical, or more precisely intergovernmental, and concern relations between the centre and the periphery under the surveillance of the Constitutional Court; the third set are internal, and relate to intragovernmental co-ordination within the central administration and the core executive. These three sets of relationships are examined in the three main sections of the chapter. It is argued that Spain’s politico-constitutional uniqueness has been retained, and even reinforced within the EU, and that the Spanish case appears to challenge the assumption that Europeanization is hollowing out the state, since the Spanish state, here identified with its central government, has been strengthened since accession.
Keywords: central government, domestic policy, EU policy, European Union, intergovernmental co-ordination, intragovernmental co-ordination, national co-ordination, non-governmental co-ordination, Spain
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