The Spanish government departments, commonly known as Ministries, are the main bodies through which the Government of Spain exercise its executive authority. They are also the top level of the General State Administration. The ministerial departments and their organization are created by Royal Decree signed by the King and Prime Minister and all of them are headed by a Cabinet member called Minister.
Although the main organization is established by the Premier, the Ministers have autonomy to organize its own department and to appoint the high-ranking officials of the ministries. It includes the possibility of ministers without portfolio, which are minister-level officials entrusted with a specific task and that do not head a department.
There are currently 22 ministerial departments.
The Ministers or Government Ministers (historically Ministers of the Crown) are, after the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers, the highest officials of the State Administration and together they form the Government of the Nation, which main decision-making-body is the Council of Ministers.
Both appointment and dismissal, to be effective, must to be published at the Official State Gazette, although exists some specific cases, previous to the approval of the 1997 Government Act, which dismissal was not published. Those cases are Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado, minister without portfolio between 1976 and 1977 and Francisco Fernández Ordóñez, Minister of Justice from 1980 to 1981.
Unlike the portfolio ministers, the dismissal of ministers without portfolio entails the extinction of all the ministerial structure that supports it.
According to the Government Act, the ministers, as heads of their departments, have competence and responsibility in the specific sphere of their actions, and they are responsible for exercising the following functions:
The ministers, as members of the Government, meet in the following collective bodies:
The substitution of the ministers must be determined by a Royal Decree of the Prime Minister, and always has to fall on another member of the Government. The Royal Decree must express the cause and character of the substitution.
The only substitution that has taken place since the entry into force of the 1997 Government Act has been that of the Minister of Defense in May 2008. Minister Carme Chacón used her right to maternity leave and her responsibilities were temporary assumed by the Interior Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.
|Portfolio||Name and term|
|Deputy Minister for the Regions||
|Deputy Minister for Relations with the Cortes|
|Minister for Relations with the European Communities|
|Minister attached to the Prime Minister|
|Deputy Minister for Public Administration||
|Deputy Minister for Legislative Coordination||
|Minister-Spokesperson of the Government|
Ministries may have Secretariats of State and, exceptionally, General Secretariats (with rank of undersecretariat) for the management of a sector of administrative activity. The executive bodies that are assigned to them are hierarchically dependent on them. The ministries have, in any case, an Undersecretariat and, depending on it, a General Technical Secretariat for the management of common services (HR, budget, assets, websites, security...).
On the other hand are the Directorates-General, which are the management bodies of one or several functionally homogeneous areas. The directorates-general are organized in deputy directorates-general for the management of the competences entrusted to it. However, deputy directorates-general may be directly attached to other higher level management bodies or to higher bodies of the ministry.
Before of the approval of the 1997 Government Act, the Ministries and Secretariats of State had to be created by law, normally by a direct law passed by the Government in the form of Royal Decree-Law. After, the Government Act allowed the Prime Minister to approve a Royal Decree (secondary legislation) designing the government structure.
Currently, the Prime Minister only creates the Ministries and some of the highest bodies (like secretariats of State and Undersecretariats) while the principal internal organization is delegated into the ministers, which develop the structure of the bodies created by the Premier or create new ones. The order of the Minister is also a royal decree signed the Monarch and countersigned by the minister responsible for the public administration at the proposal of the competent minister.
The lowest bodies such as deputy directorates-general are created by a Ministerial Order (ranked below the royal decree) of the competent minister.
The ministers are the superior heads of the department and direct hierarchical superiors of the secretaries of State. The executive bodies depend on the previous ones and they are hierarchically ordered among themselves in the following way: undersecretary, director general and deputy director general. The general secretaries have the rank of undersecretary and the technical general secretaries have the rank of director general.
|Logo||Portfolio||Minister||First creation||Current name||Address||Budget (2021)||Website|
|Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation
|1714||2018||1 Province Square, Madrid||EUR2,215 million||www|
|José Manuel Albares Bueno|
|1714||1931||45 San Bernardo Street, Madrid||EUR2,154 million||www|
|Pilar Llop Cuenca|
|1705||1977||109 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR10,863 million||www|
|Margarita Robles Fernández|
|Finance and Civil Service
|1705||2016||5 Alcalá Street, Madrid||EUR34,560 million||www|
|María Jesús Montero|
|1812||1977||7 Amador de los Ríos Street, Madrid||EUR9,855 million||www|
|Transports, Mobility and Urban Agenda
|1832||2020||67 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR13,279 million||www|
|Raquel Sánchez Jiménez|
|Education and Vocational Training
|1900||2018||34 Alcalá Street, Madrid||EUR5,678 million||www|
|Labour and Social Economy
|1920||2020||63 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR38,955 million||www|
|Industry, Trade and Tourism
|1933||1991||160 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR5,009 million||www|
|María Reyes Maroto Illera|
|Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
|1900||1981||1 Paseo de la Infanta Isabel, Madrid||EUR8,863 million||www|
|Presidency, Relations with the Cortes and Democratic Memory
|1951||2020||Puerta de Hierro Avenue, Madrid||EUR 421 million||www|
|1979||2009||3 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR2,531 million||www|
|Isabel Rodríguez García|
|Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge
|1996||2020||San Juan de la Cruz Square, Madrid||EUR13,833 million||www|
|Culture and Sport
|1977||2018||1 King's Square, Madrid||EUR1,687 million||www|
|Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation
|1928||2020||162 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR8,980 million||www|
|Nadia María Calviño Santamaria|
|1936||1936||18 Paseo del Prado, Madrid||EUR3,524 million||www|
|Social Rights and 2030 Agenda||1988||2020||18 Paseo del Prado, Madrid||EUR3,888 million||www|
|Science and Innovation
|1979||2008||162 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR8,500 million||www|
|2008||2020||37 Alcalá Street, Madrid||EUR472 million||www|
|2020||2020||18 Paseo del Prado, Madrid||EUR57 million||www|
|Inclusion, Social Security and Migration
|2020||2020||63 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR219,050 million||www|
|José Luis Escrivá Belmonte|
|2020||2020||162 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid||EUR542 million||www|
|Manuel Castells Oliván|