The moment of Spain in Europe
Spain assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1. This is a significant moment in Spanish politics, marking an exceptional milestone. Thirteen years have passed since the last time our country stood at the head of the European Union and it will be at least another 13 years before it does so again.
On this occasion, the strong pro-European commitment of Spanish society is especially important in driving the EU forward. We aim to bring to Europe our ability to foster consensus, our spirit of solidarity and inclusivity, and our dedication to finding European solutions to the significant challenges we face in our time.
“Closer to Europe,” will be the motto of our Presidency. Closer to Europeans and more committed to their well-being and prosperity at a time when the Russian aggression in Ukraine requires the Union to give its best as a political model for the future.
Spain’s pro-European commitment is especially important in driving the EU forward. We aim to bring to Europe our dedication to finding European solutions to the significant challenges we face in our time
This commitment to a closer Europe will take the form of four main priorities.
The first priority will be the promotion of reindustrialization in Europe, aiming for increased competitiveness of our companies and ensuring that European industry maintains its leading position in major technological advancements. It is necessary to create a framework that favors innovation and that in turn results in the generation of quality employment while we move toward reducing the EU’s vulnerabilities in key sectors.
The second priority will be the promotion of the green transition and the commitment to fight climate change. A green transition that must be equitable, ensuring that benefits are shared and that the most vulnerable groups are not adversely affected. An essential part of this will be to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies as a way to reduce energy dependence and to complete the improvement of the electricity market to guarantee affordable electricity prices for Europeans, even in times of crisis.
The third priority will be to build a social Europe. We will work to achieve a social economy and to strengthen the European welfare state, focusing on practices like tax evasion that erode it. Additionally, we will strive to provide states with fiscal regulation that allow us to combine the financing of social policies with fiscal balance. We will also defend equal treatment and the inclusion of vulnerable groups, as well as the fight against gaps that have recently appeared in our social model, particularly challenges around demographics.
The fourth priority will be the commitment to European unity in the face of international challenges. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine demands a constant commitment to unity in support of the Ukrainian people and to safeguarding the international order of peace and rules that has allowed our prosperity for decades. This should lead us to engage even more with our priority partners and those with whom we share values, such as Latin America.
European unity in the face of international challenges should lead us to engage even more with our priority partners and those with whom we share values, such as Latin America
The Spanish Presidency is committed to promoting these priorities as a collective endeavor. Steadfast in our conviction, we have worked over the last few years to prepare an inclusive Presidency: the State, the Autonomous Communities and Local Authorities, the Parliament and the civil society.
In January 2022, the Organizing Committee for the Presidency was created, which has met seven times to coordinate the work of the ministries at the political level.
Additionally, we have worked with all the Autonomous Communities, both in receiving their priorities and coordinating all Presidency events to be held in the national territory. This includes organizing 22 informal ministerial meetings to be held in all the Autonomous Communities of Spain. We want to bring Europe closer to all corners of Spanish and all Spanish people.
We have also worked side by side with all political forces that have expressed a desire to collaborate on this initiative. As a result, we have initiated the establishment of a Committee for monitoring the Presidency within the Mixed Commission of the European Union, which includes members from both the Congress and the Senate.
At the same time, in order to directly address the concerns of Spanish society, we have endorsed the establishment of a Civil Society Forum and a think tank comprising European experts. Their discussions and insights will inform our work on fundamental issues for our citizens.
The Presidency is a significant moment for Spain in Europe. We embrace the responsibility of the Presidency understanding that our successes will be everyone’s success. The eyes of Europe will be on Spain for the next six months. Europe knows that it can count on Spain.