The Basque Government is the governing body of the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain. The President of the Basque Government is democratically elected by the Basque Parliament every 4 years. This parliament has the legal capacity to regulate internal law. The Basque Government manages all public policies on Health, Education, Social Affairs, Economic Development, Culture and Security and employs 100.000 civil servants. The anual Budget for 2015 is 10.000 million Euro.
With a total population of just under 3 million, the Basque Country ranks above the European average in the principal indicators of economic and social development, while politically the Basque Autonomous Community enjoys the highest level of self-governance of any nonstate entity within the European Union. Concretely, the Basque Autonomous Community can collect and manage all direct taxes and ranks first in Spain in terms of per capita income, with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita being 40% higher than that of the European Union and 33.8% higher than Spain's average in 2010, at €31,314. The Basque Government has also made posible to achieve the lowest poverty rate in Europe and the second highest life expectancy in the world after Japan.
A socio-economic success
At the end of the 1970s, the Basque Country was emerging from forty years of dictatorship in which any expression of Basque culture had been repressed. At the time, the Basque Country was undergoing a serious economic crisis, with unemployment at around 30% and an international image that directly related to terrorist violence.
Despite these circumstances, the Basque Government has managed to transform its economy in a supportive way, reaching high places in international rankings in healthcare, education and income per capita. Basque companies and institutions now have a strong international presence and Basque culture is associated with modernity.
Institutional development is one of the keys to understand the success of the Basque socio-economic transformation in the last few decades. UK’s innovation foundation Nesta, in the recent report “When small is beautiful: lessons from highly-innovative smaller countries“, pointed put the role of the Basque institutions in this transformation.