Report on Ceuta and Melilla autonomy highlights system flaws and calls for improvements from the central government

According to a research from the Observatory of Ceuta and Melilla, the cities’ autonomy has left them in a legal limbo.

The observatory states that the independent nature of the enclaves “needs improvement” and hasn’t been modified in more than 20 years since it went into effect.

The report notes that “it is surprising that after more than twenty years of operation of the statutes of autonomy of Ceuta and Melilla there has not been any study, audit, or evaluation on the functioning of the administration of both cities, when it is clear that there are aspects to improve.” The report develops an exhaustive analysis on the fit of Ceuta and Melilla in the autonomous Spain.

Professor Hernández states that “the current legal system has begun to petrify as the cities lack legislative authority of their own, together with the State’s lack of agility when it comes to updating legislation” in this regard.

The Observatory of Ceuta and Melilla states in its study that the lack of adaptation of the educational system to the integration issues of the sizable Muslim minority is the result of the State’s centralized supervision of educational matters, which results in “low quality teaching results.”
Professor Hernández Lafuente emphasized the inability of submitting appeals of unconstitutionality and conflicts of competence before the Constitutional Court as the two most significant restrictions now present in the Laws of Autonomy of Ceuta and Melilla during his address.

As a result, they are powerless to preserve their autonomy because they lack the legislative authority to correct inequalities in pertinent areas like education or health, as well as the political will to demand an examination of the two cities’ respective jurisdictions.

Hernández Lafuente emphasized the necessity for the central State to demonstrate “greater support and devotion to Ceuta and Melilla” as a result of these exclusions, in order to ensure that their legal system does not result in inequality or discrimination with the residents of the rest of Spain.

The report of the Observatory of Ceuta and Melilla aims to promote a debate on the functioning of the two enclaves: “Adequate legal and political solutions are needed to adapt the situation of Ceuta and Melilla to the integral functioning of the autonomous State.”

Carlos Echeverra, the director of the Observatory, delivered the presentation. He stressed that the report dealt with the constitutional and administrative aspects of both cities, and in particular, how Melilla and Ceuta fit into the constitutional framework, or “both where we are and where we should be,” in statements to the Spanish publication El Faro de Melilla.

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