11.07.2016

An analysis of foreign and security policy in Spain and Europe

The journalists visited Elcano Royal Institute and attended a discussion on the Spanish and European economic and political landscapes

An analysis of foreign and security policy in Spain and Europe

Despite the geographical distance between them, Australia and the European Union have strong cultural, economic, security and human rights-related ties. The importance of their trade relations is clearly reflected by the free trade agreement they are currently negotiating. Areas such as security, the fight against terrorism, innovation, migration and development will be addressed from 2017 onwards at the Leadership Forum, which will be taking place annually in the two countries.

Most of those issues – particularly the management of the Spanish crisis, the departure of the UK from the European Union, migration flows and the threat of terrorism in the EU -– were discussed at the meeting held by the journalists on the Australian Leaders Programme 2016 at Elcano Royal Institute, a think tank for international and strategic studies which analyses the world from a Spanish, European and global perspective.

The participants were welcomed at the Elcano Royal Institute headquarters by analysts Mario Esteban, Carmen González, Miguel Otero and Carola García-Calvo, who offered an overview of the Spanish and European political and economic situation over the past few years. They began by analysing the development of the economic crisis and its impact on the Spanish labour market. Spain’s high unemployment rate can be explained partly by the influence of underground economy, the seasonality of the agriculture and tourism sectors and the high number of short-term contracts.

The general feeling of dissatisfaction generated by the crisis and its management by Spain’s traditional political parties gave rise to new parties, whose ideology, skills and impact on Spanish politics grabbed the attention of the Australian journalists.
Despite its structural economic problems, the analysts at Elcano Royal Institute stated that the Spanish economy is expected to match its pre-crisis GDP next year.

Immigration

The evolution of immigration in Spain also caught the Leaders' attention. Although immigration figures have been in negative territory in recent years and began to fall as of 2012, the country took in seven million immigrants until then over a short period of time, and according to Elcano Royal Institute experts, it is remarkable that it managed to do so without any serious conflict. The main reasons behind this were, according to the experts, the weakness of Spanish identity, the country's Francoist past, which curbs the rise of right-wing parties, and the fact that the crisis was attributed to corruption and not to immigrants, as it was in other European countries.

Terrorism

The meeting also discussed the threat of Jihadist terrorism. Spain is not among the hardest-hit countries and the number of arrests in connection with terrorist activities is similar to the figure in Australia, well below countries such as France, Germany and the UK. The Leaders paid particular attention to the profile of detainees, similar to the rest of Europe, and the importance of social media in their activities, which is low according to analysts.

Brexit

Spain's outlook on Brexit was one of the main issues discussed at the meeting. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union caught the country by surprise and is being followed with great interest due both to economic interests and to the number of British nationals living in Spain. Although Spain has close ties with the UK, it will align itself with its European peers, including France and Germany, whatever the conditions for the UK’s departure. As emphasised by the Foundation's Secretary General Alonso Dezcallar, the EU is still popular in Spain because “for a long time it embodied exactly what the country wished to achieve: democracy and a welfare state.”

Image gallery

Australian Leaders Programme: Activity summary

Artículo publicado por Giles Parkinson en Renew Economy: Spain looks to re-boot renewables as economy recovers

"Chefs for Change": artículo de Ute Junker sobre el Basque Culinary Center

Galería de imágenes

Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano
Encuentro en el Real Instituto Elcano

Contact

Plaza Marqués de Salamanca 8
Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación 
28006 Madrid (ESPAÑA)

 

See Map

Newsletter

Complete the form

We are

ACCIONA
AYUNTAMIENTO DE MADRID
CAF
CAIXABANK
CÁMARA DE COMERCIO DE ESPAÑA
CASA ASIA
IBERDROLA
ICEX
INDRA
INSTITUTO CERVANTES
MINISTERIO DE CULTURA Y DEPORTE
NATURGY
NAVANTIA
MINISTERIO DE ASUNTOS EXTERIORES, UNIÓN EUROPEA Y COOPERACIÓN
RMIT University
Fundación Consejo España Australia