VIVA ESPAÑA: Spanish Citizenship – Things You Should Know Part 2

In Spain, you can apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years’ of legal residency in the country through naturalisation. However, this requires taking two tests – the DELE A2 Spanish language test and the CCSE cultural test.

The Conocimientos Constitucionales y Socioculturales de España (CCSE) is a test to determine your knowledge of the Spanish Constitution and how much you know about Spanish culture, history, and society. It is a PASS or FAIL test in which you must answer 25 questions – in multiple-choice format – about Spanish Government, Law, and Citizenship (60% of the test) and about Spanish Culture, History, and Society (40%).

The Cervantes Institute provides a manual (in Spanish) to prepare for the CCSE test and we have used this document to create a special feature which we think might be of interest to people, regardless of whether or not they intend to apply for citizenship in Spain.

The manual is split into five parts and we will deal with each part in an individual manner.

Part 1 – Government, Legislation and Citizen Participation.
Part 2 – Fundamental Rights and Duties.
Part 3 – Territorial Organization of Spain. Geographical, Physical and Political.
Part 4 – Culture and History of Spain.
Part 5 – Spanish Society.

Second up is Fundamental Rights and Duties. We have highlighted certain information just as the Cervantes Institute has done which indicates that it is important to know. We have also kept a lot of organizations, government departments and other references in Spanish since the CCSE test will be taken in that language but have provided a translation where appropriate.

Part 2 – Fundamental Rights and Duties

The 1978 Constitución Española (Spanish Constitution) includes the fundamental rights, duties, and freedoms of Spaniards, inside and outside of Spain as well as those of foreign residents in the country.

Some of the most important rights, duties and freedoms established in the Spanish Constitution of 1978 are the following:


Article 6

Political parties express political pluralism according to the will of the people and are an instrument for political participation. Its creation is free within the respect for the Constitution and the law. Its structure and operation must be democratic.

Article 10

The provisions relating to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Constitution must be interpreted in accordance with the Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and the international treaties and agreements signed by Spain.

CHAPTER ONE – Spaniards and Aliens

Article 12

Spaniards are of legal age at 18 years.

Law 15/2015 raised the minimum age for marriage (matrimonio) from 14 to 16 years.

Article 13

Foreigners residing in Spain have some of the rights of the Constitution established in international laws and treaties.

CHAPTER TWO – Rights and Liberties

Article 14

Spaniards, whether by birth or those who have obtained Spanish nationality, are equal before the law and there may be no discrimination based on their birth, race, sex, religion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.

Section 1 – Fundamental Rights and Public Liberties

Article 15

Everyone has the right to life and physical and moral integrity. The death penalty is abolished.

Article 16

  1. Freedom of ideology, religion and worship of individuals and communities is guaranteed, with no other restriction on their expression than may be necessary to maintain public order as protected by law.
  2. No one may be compelled to make statements regarding their religion, beliefs or ideologies.
  3. There shall be no State religion. The public authorities shall take the religious beliefs of Spanish society into account and shall consequently maintain appropriate cooperation with the Catholic Church and the other confessions.

Article 18

  1. The right to honour and respect for family and personal life is guaranteed.
  2. The home is inviolable. No one can enter without permission of the owner. The police can only enter with judicial authorization or when a crime is being carried out.
  3. The secrecy of communications is guaranteed and, in particular, of postal, telegraphic and telephone communications, unless authorized by a court.
  4. The law limits the use of data processing in order to guarantee the honour and personal and family privacy of citizens and the full exercise of their rights.

Article 19

Spaniards have the right to freely choose where they want to live. They can move freely throughout the Spanish territory and enter and leave without limitation for political or ideological reasons.

Article 20

  1. The following rights are recognized and protected:

    a) the right to freely express and disseminate thoughts, ideas and opinions by any written or oral means.

    b) the right to literary, artistic, scientific and technical production and creation.

    c) the right to academic freedom so that teachers can teach freely.

    d) the right to freely communicate or receive true information by any means of dissemination.

    All these freedoms will not have any type of censorship, their only limit is respect for the rights recognized to Spaniards and, especially, the right to honour, privacy, one’s own image and the protection of youth and childhood.

Article 22

  1. The right of association is recognized.
  2. Associations for illegal purposes are prohibited.

Article 23

Citizens have the right to participate in political affairs, being able to present themselves to the elections or elect their representatives in the elections.

All Spaniards over 18 years of age who have not been deprived of this right by a court ruling have the right to vote.

Article 25

  1. A person can only be sentenced for actions or omissions that at the time they occur are a crime.
  2. Prison sentences are aimed at re-education and social reintegration.

Article 27

  1. Everyone has the right to education. Freedom of teaching is recognized.
  2. Basic education is compulsory and free and consists of two stages: Primary Education (from 6 to 12 years old) and Compulsory Secondary Education (from 12 to 16 years old).

Article 28

  1. Citizens have the right to belong to any union.
  2. The workers’ right to strike to defend their rights is recognized and provision is made for the maintenance of minimum community services for the duration of the strike.

Section 2 – Rights and Duties of Citizens

Article 30

  1. Spaniards have the right and the duty to defend Spain.
  2. […]
  3. […]
  4. Citizens must help in cases of serious risk, catastrophe or public calamity.

Article 31

  1. All citizens must pay taxes to help sustain public spending according to their economic capacity.
  2. Public spending will manage public resources equitably.

Article 32

  1. […]
  2. The law will regulate the forms of marriage, the age and capacity to contract it, the rights and duties of the spouses, the causes of separation and divorce and their effects.

Article 37

  1. The law will guarantee the right to collective labour bargaining between representatives of workers and employers, as well as the value of agreements.

CHAPTER THREE – Governing Principles of Economic and Social Policy

Article 40

  1. The public authorities will create favourable conditions for social and economic progress and for a more egalitarian distribution of regional and personal income, within a policy of economic stability.

Article 41

All citizens will have access to a public Social Security system, which will guarantee care in situations of need, especially in the event of unemployment.

Article 43

The public authorities must protect health and promote health education, physical education, and sports.

Article 45

Everyone has the right to enjoy a suitable environment as well as the obligation to conserve it.

Article 47

All Spaniards have the right to enjoy decent and adequate housing.

Article 48

Young people have the right to participate freely in the political, social, economic, and cultural development of the country.

Article 51

  1. The public powers will guarantee the defence and protection of consumers and users, as well as their safety, health and economic interests.

CHAPTER FOUR – Guarantee of Fundamental Rights and Liberties

Article 54

The Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman) is appointed by the Cortes Generales to defend the public rights and freedoms of citizens. It has the functions of High Commissioner of the Cortes Generales and can supervise the activity of the Administration. Citizens can contact it to report cases of bad practices.

Spaniards, as members of the European Union, may address or submit claims to European institutions and organizations, such as the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg, or the European Consumer Centre.


Article 117

  1. Justice comes from the people and is administered by judges and magistrates independently and responsibly.

Article 118

It is necessary to comply with the sentences of the judges and courts, as well as to collaborate in the processes that they request.

Article 119

Justice will be free when the law says so.

Click here to read The Spanish Constitución in full in English >

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