The importance of the "comuns" in Andorra

One of the things that surprise you when you move to Andorra is the importance of the "common" in the social and economic life of the principality. Formerly they decided on aspects like the control of the natural resources, the spaces of graze and farming, imposed taxes and tributes, approved concessions of mines, maintained the bridges and ways and legislated by means of ordinances. At present, they are still organizarions with great administrative power and with local normative power.

But in order to understand the "comú" figure, it is important to clarify that in terms of territorial organization, Andorra is divided into parishes which form the basis of the country's civil and religious organization.

The parishes are groupings of several nuclei of population and receive their name from the one that exerts like capital. There are 7, popularly known as high parishes, Encamp, Canillo, La Massana and Ordino and the rest of parishes (low or central parishes) are Andorra La Vella, Escaldes-Engordany and Sant Julià de Lòria. Making a simile, perhaps the concept that can be closer, compared to other countries like Spain, is that of "municipal term."

As for the civil organization the parishes are managed by so-called "comuns" who are just below the govern in an administrative level. Each "comu" is composed of a Consell (council) that is chosen by universal suffrage every four years and is formed by: the figures of the "cònsol major", "cònsol menor" and of 8 to 14 communal councilors. The equivalent organism that comes closest in other countries is the "Town Hall".

In our day to day and thinking about what it supposes for someone who moves to live in Andorra, the "Comú" will be one of the sites that we will have to go to carry out a good part of the administrative procedures and the payment of some taxes . As examples of applications that we would make in the Comú we have: the registration in the census, the register of a trade or industry, cadastral information or already in a more social scope, the enrollment in cultural and sports activities. Regarding taxes and fees: hygiene and public lighting, issuance of certificates or taxes on real estate property, among others.

To summarize, these are entities that have a great organizational weight in each of the parishes and as we said at the beginning of this post, a big part of the social and economic development of them depends on its successful perfomance.


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