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Nominally, a Statute of Autonomy is a law hierarchically located under the constitution of a country, and over any other form of legislation (including organic laws). This legislative corpus concedes a degree of autonomy to a subnational unit, and the articles usually mimic the form of a constitution, establishing the organization of the autonomous government, the electoral rules, the distribution of competences between different levels of governance and other regional-specific provisions, like the protection of cultural or lingual realities.

In Spain, the process of devolution after the transition to democracy (1979) created 17 Autonomous Communities each one having its own Statute of Autonomy. In June 18, 2006, Catalonia approved in referendum a new but controversial Catalan Statute of Autonomy, enhancing the degree of autonomy of this Spanish region.

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