Tenerife is an autonomous region, belonging to the Spanish territory and therefore under the monarchy of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía. With its own tiered-government system, many of the decisions, which directly affect the Canarian people are taken by representatives based on the island and not in mainland Spain.
In addition, Tenerife also has a special status within the European Union (EU) with lower tax rates compared to other countries.
Santa Cruz has half of the regional government departments (the other 50 per cent are in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and the Parliament and its governor are elected by the Canarian people. These politicians are then finally appointed by Madrid.
Tenerife has 15 members in the Canarian Parliament who play their part in setting legislation, controlling budgets and appoints representatives to take affairs to the mainland.
The island council (Cabildo Insular) has certain powers of self-government and accepts responsibility for the daily running of local services. Then these functions are delegated to regional municipal units (municipios) and finally to town authorities.
The vibrant capital city of Santa Cruz is home to many of Tenerife’s government buildings. Click here to discover more about interesting places to visit.