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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 7 January 2021
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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation


According to the article 48 of the 1978 Spanish Constitution ‘Youth Policy’ is understood as the ensemble of measures and goals assigned by public powers to promote the conditions of free and effective participation of youth in political, social, economic and cultural development.

State legal exclusivity concerning employment implies that the Autonomous Regions or sub-national units count on competences of mere enforcement of the national regulations. This includes the elaboration of internal documentation in order to organise necessary services, regulation of the functional competence of execution itself, as well as all the actions needed for the set-up of regulations for the system of work relations, besides the power to impose sanctions.

Legal competence concerning employment is exclusively with the State, with planning and execution of employment policies carried out within sub-national administrations, always in coordination with the State Administration.

According to the Employment Law (RDL 3/2015, de 23 de octubre, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Empleo), employment policy and, specifically, youth employment policies, are defined as the ensemble of decisions adopted by the State and the Autonomous Regions addressed towards the promotion of employment. The Employment Law regulates regional employment services and the State Public Employment Service (SEPE).

The Autonomous Regions may establish and develop their own employment policies as long as they do not contradict or oppose national policies or have an impact on labour legislation, which is the exclusive competence of the State.

Concerning financial aid towards employment, the Autonomous Regions establish specific incentives for the recruitment of youth. As these incentives frequently consist of financial aid for companies in the recruitment of youth, problems of overlapping occasionally arise. The solution has come from the constitutional doctrine concerning financial aid, Legal Foundation no.8 of the STC of the Constitutional Court 13/1992 of 6 February, from which the scope delimitation between State and Autonomous Regions has been established.

Main actors:

The main agent in the design and implementation of youth employment and entrepreneurship policies is the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy, the highest public authority in charge of coordinating relevant actors and responsible for the establishment and control of the Youth Guarantee system (Sistema de Garantía Juvenil).

General distribution of responsibilities:

Within the General Government Administration, the National Coordinator for Youth Guarantee and the Directorate-General of Self-employment, Social Economy and Social Responsibility of companies, are in charge of the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and responsible for the administration of the European Social Fund in Spain, which are also relevant, and at a national level, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional), the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy (Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social)  and the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda), are in charge of channelling local entities.

At sub-national level, taking into account their main role in youth policy, the Autonomous Regions take a fundamental role in the projection, definition, implementation and management of public action concerning youth employment and entrepreneurship. Both in the administration and management of actions related to youth employment and entrepreneurship, and in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the Autonomous Regions shall involve the competent departments related to Employment, Education, Social Affairs and Youth.


Cross-sectorial cooperation

In general terms, cooperation between administrations concerning Youth Policies has been subject to specific development in the Youth Strategy 2020 (Estrategia Juventud 2020); all ministries have participated in its definition through the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Youth, under the former Secretariat of State of Social Services from the Ministry of Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda.

One of the specific axes developed in the strategy establishes cooperation mechanisms between Public Administrations, bodies and agencies involved in the definition of programmes of action in any policy related to youth. The actors involved are the Inter-Ministerial Commission itself, the Inter-Territorial Youth Council, the Spanish Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud de España) and the Commission on Sports, Youth and Leisure of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias).

The highest level instrument for cooperation and coordination between Administrations concerning youth employment and entrepreneurship is the General Council of the National Employment System, along with the Employment and Social Affairs Conference, both belonging to the National Employment System (Sistema Nacional de Empleo). The Spanish National Employment System is the ensemble of structures, measures and actions needed to promote and develop employment policy, made out of the SEPE, State Public Employment Service, and the regional public employment services.

The tools created are the annual work programme of the National Employment System, the execution plans of the Employment European Strategy, and the information system of the Public Employment Services.

Collaboration between the State Administration and Regional Administrations concerning youth employment and entrepreneurship becomes specially relevant in the National Plan for the Implementation of Youth Guarantee (Plan Nacional de Implantación de la Garantía Juvenil), which assigns Autonomous Regions a crucial role in the implementation and management of the dispositions contained in the plan, meaning that the application of the Youth Guarantee in Spain retains a regional and local focus.

With the purpose of guaranteeing its implementation throughout the country, a mechanism of coordination between administrations placed within the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy (Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social), with the Employment and Social Affairs Conference, has been established.

Social agents also participate in the implementation and in the preliminary outline of employment and entrepreneurship measures for youth. They are mainly business organisations (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) and Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (CEPYME)), trade unions (Workers General Union (UGT) and Workers Commissions (CCOO)), organisations of young entrepreneurs (Spanish Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs (CEAJE)), the Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud), as advisory body, and youth associations.

In the design and development processes, the most representative organisations within social economy (such as the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Business, CEPES), self-employment (National Federation of Self-Employees ATA, National Federation of Self-Employees (CEAT) or Union of Associations of Self-Employees and Entrepreneurs UATAE), and equal opportunities also intervene; the latter normally within the regional scope.