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Spanish foreign policy: views from the main political parties

Popular Party in the international agenda

The main priorities of the popular party are to strengthen relations within the European Union as well as the implementation of policies aimed at development and cooperation in border security.

A topical issue is the support given by the free trade agreement with the USA, as well as to promote the continuity and leadership of the united nations in the European environment.

It is a top priority that the government maintains good relations with the US after the arrival of Trump to White House executive, one of the main challenges that most European formations in the various countries have to face.

It is important to bear in mind that the party currently in government has an obligation to maintain an active policy with European partners in Brexit.

The imminent departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union is going to involve a series of changes in the control and the supervision of consensual policies among the members.

In short, the popular party will have to develop a series of internal policies to improve the current situation in Spain, so that there are clear reasons for a re-election in the next legislature.

What is the vision of PSOE regarding Spanish Foreign Policy?

PSOE’s proposals for Foreign Policy differ from the ones carried out by the Popular Party (PP) so far. They remain critic and defend that the latter party has not been at the height of the challenges.

PSOE’s Electoral Program has a project for Spain strongly linked with the exterior and remarks the party’s top priorities: the position of Spain in a globalized world; peace and security; Spanish cooperation; immigration policy; and the rights of citizens in the outside world.

On the first place, PSOE identifies three major regions of the world that are a priority for Spain. The first one would be, clearly, the European Union. Also, those regions where Spain can foster progress and security: Latin America, Maghreb, Sahel, Middle East and the Atlantic. Lastly, they want to put a particular focus on multilateral institutions, in order to achieve a more balanced and sustainable world.

Regarding Peace and Security Policies, this party defends the creation -in the medium-term- of a European Army. This way, defence and response to threats would be -according to PSOE- more effective in this region.

PSOE also promotes the reform of the United Nations Security Council, which is deemed to be ineffective and inoperative in many occasions.

On the other hand, PSOE makes a special reference to Aid Cooperation. They argue that it cooperation should be -again- at the “heart” of the Spanish Foreign Policy. For that, they want to enact new updated legislation so it will confer this task a major and strategic role in our policy.

Finally, the highly promote a common European Policy regarding immigration issues. This is one the major challenges for Spain and the Popular Party has not been acting to face it properly.

Ciudadanos electoral program in international politics

The electoral program of Ciudadanos contains 22 pages relating to the “Change in international politics”.

Through them, we can observe that Ciudadanos wants a more integrated Europe and even to propose a “European Constitution of federal character”.

In relation to foreign relations with other regions, Ciudadanos wants to adopt relations with Latin America and Portugal and to increase efforts to growth the presence of Spain in Asia-Pacific. Moreover, they want to keep on promoting a stable frame of cooperation and good relations within the neighbourhood and Morocco. They also believe that it is a price to tackle with Morocco the question of the Western Sahara in order to obtain the self-determination of the Saharan people. It also opts for the decolonization of Gibraltar through the political dialogue with the United Kingdom.

According to the main organization that Spain is part, the European Union, some issues are relevant in his electoral program. They consider that it should revert to the accession of Turkey in the European Union.

It also supports the signing of a Treaty of free trade and investment between the EU and United States (TTIP) as it always respects the European Legislation.

Furthermore, regarding refugees, they required a common system of control of borders and a European Agency Frontex reinforced able to deal effectively with the problem of irregular economic migration.

Moreover, in relation to security which is fundamental in our times from every state, they endorse the construction of a common European Defence that gives answer to the challenges of our environment (terrorism, organized crime, cybersafety, tax evasion…) and a major collaboration with the NATO. They desire to strengthen the cooperation’s fight against terrorism and crime organized with other European and regional forces.

Finally, the aim to promote a “Pacto de Estado” of foreign policy, assuming the new millennium objectives are defined by the United Nations for 2030 and 0.7% of the GDP in Official Development Aid.

A reorientation of Spanish Foreign Policy for Podemos

Podemos is one of the newest Spanish politic groups and it is creating a lot of controversies. A politic group which is more left wing than all the others. That’s why

their program about their foreign policy will be interesting dates in this investigation. Here we have found some examples of ideas, key points or even declarations of Podemos concerning the national foreign policy:

About the Spanish foreign policy of the political group of Podemos, we can find some key points which are the following; to raise the statutory minimum wage, to legally enshrine a 35-hour working week: (Podemos wants to implement a 35-hour working week; the current working week is at about 40 hours. Many people are reluctant to take a reduced as they believe there professional careers would be impaired. This would also have an effect on companies, as productivity would decrease. There is also a challenge to the tradition of long lunches and afternoon breaks. Many professionals argue that this working culture needs to change).

Another point of his electoral program is to bring the legal retirement age back to 65 years – although with some flexibility depending on the nature of the job: (the Spanish government is currently trying to raise the retirement age to 67. Podemos wants it to stay at 65). To achieve real coordination of economic policies in the Eurozone and the “Flexibilisation” of the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact (EU fiscal rules) – although no further details are provided as to what this would involve in practice.

Lastly, to increase public spending and challenge: (there is an idea, that in Spain there is too much spending on public resources, too many civil and public sector employees and excessive spending on pubic goods and services. Podemos wants to challenge this “false” idea by increasing the public spending.)

According to interview realized by Real Instituto ElCano to a Podemos’s responsible, these are the following priorities about the Spanish foreign policy in the next four years; first of all, the new focus of our politic’s priorities about foreign policy are; the defense of economic, security and geopolitical interests. With a new agenda which will be different, integrated and multidimensional one and focused on what we called our 3 “Ds”: Human and gender equity, democracy and sustainable and equitable development. Our foreign policy and cooperation program is based on these three of

principal issues and they are the clear objective of the external action of our government.

Secondly, changing the elaboration and the execution of our foreign policy. We want a more transparent, democratic and inclusive foreign policy, based and made thanks to the participation of all the actors involved (government, parliament, autonomous and local governments, civil society, etc.)

Moreover, Spain wants to increase the decision-making power of citizens in foreign policy (before: Citizens were completely oblivious to decisions of extreme importance that the government takes in the international sphere). So, the objective is to increase the level of information and debate in public opinion on international politics, to make citizens more participatory in our foreign policy (thanks to mechanisms of participatory democracy and accountability to citizens about our main decisions of external actions.

Students of Public Opinion

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