Oriol Mir Puigpelat
Participation in administrative procedures: lesson from the spanish experience
This papers examines the legislative regulation of administrative procedures in Spain and Italy. It focuses on citizens’ intervention in administrative procedures. Although the Italian and Spanish administrative systems have several common features, due to the influence of the French model of administration, they differ with regard to both the right to be heard in individual procedures and participation in rulemaking procedures. From the first point of view, the Spanish legislation is not only less recent, but it also makes different choices, to the extent to that it protects less the interests of those who are not formally involved by the procedure, but provides a specific instrument, the “informacion publica”. The main difference, however, regards rulemaking procedures. Unlike in Italy, these procedures are characterized by participatory tools, as a consequence of a political choice made by the Constitution and confirmed by both legislation and institutional practice. This does not imply, however, that participation in administrative procedures is always connected with the democratic principle. Rather, it is often connected with the Rule of law, though a clearcut distinction may not be drawn easily.