Spain to recover its political influence in the EU

Spain to recover its political influence in the EU

The Spanish government is facing a new role within its EU partners by gaining its lost influence due to the Brexit and its recovery from the economic crisis.

Spain is trying to recover its diplomatic and influential position inside the European Union which had been kept a low profile since 2008 and the whole crisis’ years.

Spain’s low profile in the EU is due to the crisis and, previously, the EU’s enlargement, when the entry of 10 new State members displaced the power balances inside the Union. Thus, during Rajoy’s second-term, Spain is aimed to reverse this situation.

In this sense, Spain recently hosted the III Southern EU countries Summit in Madrid, where prime ministers from Malta, France, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Portugal gathered to discuss on two important issues: the future of the EU, by reaffirming the commitment of strengthening the European unity and process stated in the Rome Declaration, and of the Brexit, by advocating for a fair and balanced exit agreement with the UK to ensure a successful future EU-UK relations.

The Spanish government purpose of gaining influence again in the EU’s framework has been recently boosted by recent events, highlighted in a report by the Financial Times:

  • References to Gibraltar in the EU’s published text on Brexit’s negotiations guidelines: though controversial, it is stated in this document that any deal between the UK and the EU after Brexit would not be applied to the Rock if, previously, a bilateral agreement between the United Kingdom and Spain is settled.
  • Brexit and expatriates’ visa rights: Spain is having a conciliatory role on this issue, regarding that there are around 300.000 Britons living in this country. Both rights of the UK citizens and Spanish/EU citizens living abroad on visa and residence issues seems to be largely discussed during Brexit negotiations.
  • Independence of Scotland: As the United Kingdom is facing a second try of Scottish authorities to held another referéndum of Independence, Spain is reaffirming its traditional policy against self-determination movements due to its own affair with Catalonia.
  • Spain as a future fourth EU power: Spain took part in a recent four-way Summit held in the French Palais of Versailles, alongside prime ministers of France, Germany and Italy. The Spanish position in the EU is benefited both from the UK’s leaving the Union (considered as the current fourth European power) and the progressively isolated Polish government (which is the sixth EU main State member).

Spain has a population that strongly supports the idea of a unified Europe as was recently noted in a report by the Spanish private pollster GAD3 last December 2016. This investigation showed that up to 76% of Spanish citizens are in favour of the European Union. Besides, there are no anti-EU right parties in the Spain unlike in other European countries such as France.

Strengthening the Spanish role in the EU is positive for the country. If Spain is going to be a new power to bear in mind in Europe, it could be useful if this regained influence was used to boost the consensus with the EU partners, especially on controversial issues such as the expatriates’ rights of citizenship abroad.

At Del Canto Chambers, we are specialised in visa permits and Residence Card applications both in Spain and the United Kingdom. We can be contacted at clerk@delcantochambers.com.

Del Canto Chambers’ Editorial Board

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