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Spanish Politics and Society. Hispanic & European Studies Program Fall 2009 Raimundo Viejo Viñas Office 20.182 Spain and the European Union. The Europeanization of the Spanish Political System. Historical background.

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spanish politics and society

Spanish Politics and Society

Hispanic & European Studies Program

Fall 2009

Raimundo Viejo Viñas

Office 20.182

spain and the european union

Spain and the European Union

The Europeanization of the Spanish Political System

historical background
Historical background
  • Europe's history is the history of an incessant struggle between five political powers: Rome/Italy, Spain, France, England, and Germany
  • Since the 18th century, however, the Spanish Empire began a permanent decline until the present times
  • Today Spain is a second-level power within the European Union between Poland and the four european great powers: Germany, England, France, and Italy (members of the G-8)
historical background 2
Historical background, 2
  • During the twentieth century Spain did not take sides in the two world wars. Neutrality reinforced Spain’s isolation: Spanish people started to believe that “España comienza en los Pirineos”
  • After the Second World War, Spain could not benefit from U.S. support (the so-called Marshall Plan). While Europe’s reconstruction began in the late 1940s and 1950s, Spain remained isolated for forty years
  • In the 1960s Franco’s dictatorship changed its orientation from changed its orientation from autarky (economic isolation) to integration in the Western world.
the european integration
The European integration
  • European integration is the process of political, economic, social and cultural integration of states wholly or partially in Europe.
  • European integration began in 1951, when a few Western European states agreed to confer powers over their steel and coal production to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in the Treaty of Paris (1952).
  • The next step into a European Unity was made in 1958, when the European Economic Community (EEC) was founded as an international organisation. France, Germany, Italy, and the BENELUX (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) were its founders.
the european integration 2
The European integration, 2
  • Between 1973 and 1993 the European Communities saw the first enlargement of the Communities and increasing integration under the Delors Commission
    • 1973: England, Danemark, and Ireland
    • 1981: Greece
    • 1985: Spain and Portugal
    • 1990: East Germany
  • Following the Maastricht Treaty (1992) the European Union (UE) is created in 1993. New countries become members of the UE:
    • 1994: Austria, Sweden, and Finland.
    • 2004: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia
    • 2007: Romania and Bulgaria
spain and the european integration
Spain and the European integration
  • Today Spain is part of the core of Europe
  • Spain is integrated in all the supranational european bodies
    • The Council of Europe
    • Schengen free circulation area
    • European economic area
    • Euro-zone (monetary unity)
    • European Customs Union
    • European Union
europeanization of spanish politics
Europeanization of Spanish politics
  • Membership of the EU led to adaptation and change within the Spanish political regime
  • Most of the Spanish legislation is produced within European limits. In fact, the sovereignty of the national states within the EU is limited.
  • Since the Treaty of Nice (2000), however, different levels of integration are possible within the EU (it is the so-called “two-speed Europe”)
institutional links eu spain
Institutional links EU-Spain
  • Changes in political regime equally affected the legislative, the executive and the judiciary
  • At the executive level, the European integration affected …
    • … the creation of new bodies
    • … the introduction of european issues in the political agenda
    • …the internal structure of some departaments
  • At the legislative level, the Spanish parliament transferred part of their legislative autonomy
  • At the judicial level, the EU integration also meant accepting the jurisdiction of the European courts on different issues
europeanization of spanish politics13
Europeanization of Spanish politics
  • The European integration influenced strongly Spanish politics:
  • …it consolidated democratization after the Spanish political transition through the integration of the military and the conservative political parties
  • …it strengthened the alliance of Spanish political parties with their European allies
  • …it changed Spanish national identity in a more cosmopolitan sense (less nationalistic) and reinforced regional identities at the same time