Spanish foreign monitor: July-September 2012

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Series Details No.136, October 2012
Publication Date 05/10/2012
ISSN 1989-2667
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Spanish politics over the past three months has been dominated by the unfolding eurozone crisis and pressure over public debt. Instead of adopting a proactive attitude by assuming responsibilities and leadership in Europe, the government has decided to endure the storm, taking advantage of the summer slowdown, leaving the bundle
of blame to the regional authorities.

Uncertainty has overtaken foreign action towards the European Union and has gradually extended to other areas, such as the Sahel, the Arab spring and Spanish diplomatic and business presence in Ibero-America and the rest of the world.

The new cabinet’s first six months in office have witnessed interesting elements. With a second bailout in the making, the minister of foreign affairs’ tendency to lean towards continental economic issues has left gaps that have been filled by other departments, notably the Ministry of Defence. On the other hand, the events that took place in North Africa during recent weeks have increased concerns towards the southern neighbourhood.

In addition, there has been a certain ideological shift in Spain’s foreign policy model, with a hardening of strategic policies and a greater emphasis on commercial diplomacy.

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