CALRE Award “Stars of Europe” 2022

🇪🇸 Parlamento de Galicia
Web page “E ti, vés ao Parlamento?” (“Let’s visit the Parliament!”)
01/12/2017 – …

Type of initiative


Short description of the initiative

The Galician Parliament is an institution open to the public in which all Galicians can participate and be actively involved in parliamentary activity and in which all those interested in knowing the institution and the work done here, whether Galician or not, can visit. To this end, the parliament has different tools to bring the institution closer to citizens and, particularly, to students from the Autonomous Community of all ages:

  1. Guided tours for groups from 5th grade primary school (10 years old)
  2. Children’s day for 1st-4th primary school students (6-9 years old): “The bolechas visit the Parliament”
  3. Parliament week at school
  4. Conference talks for secondary school, baccalaureate and university
  5. Children’s plenary sessions and debate contests

Main features of the initiative

The main objective of the initiative is to facilitate and speed up the safe access of groups of people to the parliament to make the legislative chamber known as well as the work carried out by the deputies as representatives of the Galician people.
Thanks to the guided tours, lasting 1 hour, in Galician, Spanish or English, the groups learn about the functions, organization and history of the institution from the hand of our guides; they access the most solemn halls of Pazo do Hórreo, such as the Salón dos Reis or the Chamber; they visit the rooms and halls where the daily institutional activity takes place and, on the days of the plenary session, they will be able to attend part of it from the public gallery.
Thus, the Galician Parliament opens its doors to all those people who want to know the Galician legislative chamber and its headquarters, Pazo do Hórreo, located in Santiago de Compostela, choosing from 6 types of visits available for request on the Guided Tours webpage “”E ti, vés ao Parlamento?”

  1. Open day: guided tours without prior appointment every Monday at 10:00, 12:00 and 16:30.
  2. Guided tours with prior reservation for groups or individuals: from Monday to Friday, from 9:30 to 14:30 and from 16:00 to 18:00, citizens can request a guided tour by entering the webpage and filling out a visit request form that is answered within 24 hours.
    In addition, in order to facilitate the transfer to Santiago de Compostela, Renfe Group and the Galician Parliament offer 40% discounts to organized groups that travel by train to visit the Galician legislative headquarters.
  3. Visits to the art collection: the Galician Parliament has the most important public collection of contemporary Galician art in the autonomous community. Between painting, sculpture, stained glass and tapestries, the collection has more than 300 works of art. Some of them in deposit, others acquired and others that are donations. Advised by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the parliament continues to host new works of art at its headquarters for the enjoyment of all interested parties who, following the same steps as in general guided tours, can request this type of visit.
    Check the Art Collection webpage:
    And the Art Collection Book:
  4. Visits under the auspices of the cooperation agreement between the regional government, Xunta de Galicia, and the Galician Parliament “Get to know your regional institutions”: In order to promote a program of activities that fits into the continuous educational process of formation of democratic, active, tolerant, solidary and critical students, in which democratic dialogue and justice stand as benchmarks for social coexistence, on December 18, 2017 a cooperation agreement was signed between the Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria, representing the Xunta de Galicia, and the Galician Parliament , with an initial validity extended until September 1, 2020. The object of this agreement was the joint organization of an educational program, supported by didactic visits of schoolchildren from publicly owned Galician schools to the headquarters of both institutions with financed transport, so that visiting students receive first-hand information on the development of the main functions of each of the signatory institutions, in the places where they develop their competencies, thus obeying their responsibility and commitment to the younger generations.
    Given the confusion that for many people raises the division of powers of the rule of law, this program helps to overcome these doubts from childhood. Students have the opportunity to understand, in situ, the differences between the legislative power (Parliament of Galicia) and the executive power (Xunta de Galicia).
    The program of activities described is aimed exclusively at students of 5th and 6th grade of primary school and from 1st to 4th grades of secondary school of public schools of the region. Preference will be given to groups of students of schools that teach the subject European Democratic Values, or similar free-form centre, in accordance with Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning.
    Prior to the actual realization of the visits, a teaching unit featuring the Parliament and Xunta de Galicia will be explained within the classrooms. Didactic units (including “easy-to-read” adapted didactic units) about both institutions are available for students and teachers to download at our webpage “E ti, vés ao Parlamento?”. These materials will respond to the objectives and aims of the didactic program, including the contents, evaluation criteria and corresponding learning standards and the possible curricular integration and link with the development of the key competences.
    This agreement had to be dissolved in 2020 because of the pandemic, but it was resumed on January 14, 2022 and will remain active until the 2023-2024 academic year.
  5. Virtual tour and institutional video: citizens can also visit and learn about parliament without leaving home. On the webpage people will find the virtual tour through which you can visit the Pazo do Hórreo and its halls with a written and oral explanation of each of them, as if they were present at the institution. In addition, our institutional video explaining the history of the building and the parliament, as well as its functions and organization, is also available. This modality was widely used in classrooms during the pandemic.
  6. Visits to temporary exhibitions in the parliament:
    The parliament organizes and hosts temporary exhibitions at its headquarters in the Pazo do Hórreo. These can be visited freely within the opening hours of the institution’s staff.
    Among the last organized we had:
  • EXHIBITION “AÇORES SILÊNCIO E SER”: In the framework of an institutional act of cooperation between Galicia and the Azores Islands and the presentation of the book “Viaxe á Illa do Corvo” (Azores), 1924 in bilingual edition Galician / Portuguese.
  • CARVALHO CALERO EXHIBITION, BIBLIOGRAPHICAL EXHIBITION: Taking advantage of the appointment of Carballo Calero as honored in the Galician Literature Day 2020, the parliament organized a bibliographic exhibition that would later lead to the headquarters of Abanca in Ferrol.
  • EXHIBITION ON THE STATUTE OF AUTONOMY OF GALICIA: Currently in the corridors of the Pazo since 2021 as the 40th anniversary of the Statute of Autonomy was celebrated that year.
  • EXHIBITION “40 YEARS OF GALICIA’S AUTONOMY IN THE CARICATURES OF SIRO”: The political cartoonist Siro López donated to the parliament more than 200 politically themed caricatures that the parliament took advantage of to organize an exhibition in which the last 40 years of history of Galicia can be seen.
  • GALICIAN LITERATURE EXHIBITION: This is our permanent exhibition that is part of our art collection, located in the Galician literature room of the parliament. It consists of portraits or caricatures made by Siro López and sculpted in plaster and resin by the sculptor Ferreiro Badía of all those honored on the day of Galician literature over time.
  • EXHIBITION “THE POWER OF THE WORD. 40th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PARLIAMENT OF GALICIA. 1981/2021”: Traveling exhibition organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Legislative Chamber. It was open to the public in the Parliament itself and then began a traveling stage that will take it to all Galician cities and end in Madrid. Curated by Ramón Villares, Professor Emeritus and Former Rector of the University of Santiago.
  • “SHARE” PROJECT: Traveling exhibition made up of a selection of works from the Galician Parliament’s art collection that, since the end of 2022, will be shown in different Galician cities and towns, in Madrid and, possibly, in other cities abroad that have a high Galician presence. Organized with the collaboration of the Xunta de Galicia.
    Since the activities mentioned so far are aimed at adults and students from 5th grade of primary school (recommended age for visits based on the school curriculum), we have designed a specific day for the youngest to get to know the parliament, the deputies and learned what the elections are for.
    Once a year, the Bolechas (famous Galician cartoon characters) visit the Galician Parliament and guide the children from the main lobby, divided into groups by the 4 most emblematic halls of the headquarters: Salón dos Reis, the Chamber, the Sala do Rexurdimento and the Xeración Nós Library in order to watch a video, make a puzzle or any other fun activities related to the topic.
    All the exercises and materials designed for this purpose are available in the website “E tí, ves ao Parlamento?”.
    Around 6,000 boys and girls attending 5th and 6th grade of public primary schools took part in the Parliament Week at School which began on 29 November, 2021 some days before the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Galician Parliament.
    Parliament Week at School has been designed to be carried out without hindering the normal school year of the school curriculum, as it can be conducted in a cross-curricular manner without having to confine it to a specific area of knowledge.
    In this case, the parliament, represented by its former deputies, moves to the centres to report on its activity and resolve the doubts of students and teachers in this regard.
    The parliament collaborates with several NGOs in the organization of children’s plenary sessions in the Chamber with the participation of the Bureau and deputies of parliamentary groups. Primary, secondary and baccalaureate school students both of public and private schools come to the parliament in order to meet the deputies and explain the objectives of the NGOs campaign they have worked in their classrooms during the whole year. We have collaborated with UNICEF, Aldeas Infantiles, Fundación Educo and Plan Internacional and we have organized these collaborations in person and via videoconference over the last years.
    On the debating contests, the parliament has organized several face-to-face debating contests in its Chamber:
  • European Youth Parliament.
  • The finals of the Compostela University Debate Tournament.
  • Every year the finals and semi-finals and awards ceremony of the Parlamento Xove organized by the Consellería de Política Social of Xunta de Galicia.

Role of the assembly in the success of the initiative

The role of the parliament and the staff of the Chamber in making known the Pazo do Hórreo, its history, its functions and organization is crucial.
Practically all the services of the Chamber are involved in this initiative, from the Office of the Presidency, in charge of the organization, management, diffusion and realization of the initiatives, to the service of Information Technologies Department, in charge of the audio visual and technological support, Personnel and Internal Regime Department, General Assistance Service and Parliamentary Groups.

European orientation of the initiative

The Galician Parliament is based in Santiago de Compostela, the destination of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), a pilgrimage route that travels through Europe to reach the Galician capital. The Way was and still is, without a doubt, the oldest, busiest, and most celebrated route in the old continent. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over Europe travel the different routes of the path each year filling the capital of the Autonomous Community with different cultures and languages for several days after their arrival. A basic visit among the city’s offerings is the parliament, which, thanks to open days and English-language visits, can serve visitors perfectly well during their stay.
Parliament is also included in the scheduled visits of the Erasmus + program (KA1, KA2 and KA3) and the ESN. Every year the parliament receives many requests from groups interested in getting to know the institution and sharing conversations and impressions with members of the Bureau or deputies, mainly on education, training, regional languages, opening institutions to citizenship, innovation and exchange of good practices or Europeanism. Members of parliament are always available to receive these groups, talk to them, and clarify their concerns.
Also, the visits of the didactic programme “Get to Know Your Regional Institutions” described above, gives preference to students of schools that teach the elective subject “European Democratic Values”, according to the Recommendation 2006/962 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning.