9 February 1962: Fernando María Castiella, Minister of Foreign Affairs, formally requested the accession of Spain to the European Economic Community. But it took 24 years for Spain to become a Member State on 1 January 1986.

 

This exhibition, which takes place on the occasion

of the thirtieth anniversary of the accession, tells the story of those years of negotiations and their changes of direction.

 

A thirty years old relationship aimed at the citizens´ well-being and progress in education, innovation, environment, monetary policy...

But also looking into the future, through the priorities of President Juncker, and seeking a new start for the European Union.

 

The Representation of the European Commission in Spain, the digital archive Spain-European Union (SEDAS) and the Florence historical archives wish this exhibition will serve as a starting point for a reflection and debate about how much the European adventure has meant for Spain.

 

 

SPAIN AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

History of their relationship

1962-2016

Good

intentions

Europe is being rebuilt and the dictatorship in Spain opens to a new government, which decides to get a foot on Europe. In 1962

Fernando María Castiella, Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to the President of the Council of the EEC, asking for the association of Spain.

The Council of the EEC accepted the request in 1964 and the negotiations started in 1965.

 

In June 1962 the IV International Conference of the European Movement analysed the democratisation of the institutions of the EEC and its political union. Two Spanish delegations, one from exile and the interior one, discussed separately but were able to present a unanimous proposal to the Conference.

 

Salvador de Madariaga represented 38 participants from exile and José María Gil-Robles 80 from inland. Their speeches were coincident: Europe provided the impetus to democratize Spain.

 

In June 1970, Antonio López Bravo, Minister for Foreign Affairs, signed with Pierre Harmel, President of the Council, and Jean Rey, President of the Commission, the Spain-Common Market Agreement in Luxembourg.

 

‘The first step’ López Bravo said; ‘capable of more in the future’, declared a prudent Jean Rey, leaving possible interpretations open, including the political one. A long-term relationship with Europe began, 16 years before accession.

 

After a first approach to Europe, the aim of these years was a trade agreement. The negotiations were able to achieve progress and provided early results.

Time line

1962

9 February

5 June

Spain requests an association agreement with the EEC.

IV International Conference of the European Movement.

© Gobierno de España. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.

Archivo General de la Administración, Fondo Embajada de España

en París, caja 54/16413

1973

16 October

Raimundo Bassols, Spain Head of Mission, signs the agreement setting up the European Centre of Weather Forecasts.

©  European Commission.

1970

29 June

Signature of the Preferential Trade Agreement with the EEC.

©  European Commission.

1962

1970

1973

1962-1973

Avoiding misunderstandings

The first step

Europe

relies

on Spain

The major political change brought the final step of the membership application. The firmness with which the democratic project was presented in Europe led to the opening of negotiations.

Time line

1977

1979

1977-1979

Document known as ‘The fresco’

Two months after the proclamation of King Juan Carlos I, José Maria de Areilza, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited the nine European capitals in order to announce that Spain would apply to become a member and to communicate the democratisation agenda.

 

Following the idea of integration in Europe, Adolfo Suárez, after his appointment as Prime Minister, formally applied for Spain membership.

 

Adolfo Suárez, Marcelino Oreja and Ambassador Raimundo Bassols met the President Roy Jenkins at the Commission headquarters. In September the EEC Council agreed to the request and the Commission promised to deliver an opinion.

 

In 1978 the Commission reflected on the complex enlargement to three countries, Spain, Greece and Portugal, in a document known as ‘The fresco’. In 1979 with the start of negotiations, Roy Jenkins stated that the Community would be enriched by the accession. The Minister for Relations with the EEC, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, declared that "accession was the road leading his country to freedom”.

 

In 1977, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelino Oreja, submitted the membership application. Henri Simonet, acting President of the Council and Wilhelm Haferkamp, Vice-President of the Commission, received the Minister.

1979

5 February

Opening of accession negotiations with Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Since 1980 the negotiations continued with the Minister José Pedro Pérez Llorca and, since 1982 until its conclusion, with the Minister Fernando Morán

© Photo News Service Brussels. Paul Versele.

1962

9 de Febrero

1977

26 July

4 November

Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez applies for membership by letter to Henri Simonet, President of the Council of Ministers of the European Communities.

Prime Minister Suárez visits 9 European Capitals accompanied by Marcelino Oreja and Ambassador Raimundo Bassols. In Brussels he is received by the President of the European Commission, Roy Jenkins, and Vice-President and Commissioner for Enlargement, Lorenzo Natali.

© Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación.

© European Union, 1977.

Europe

said yes

Spain started its work in Europe playing a very active role and having a prominent presence in the institutions.

Time line

After years of negotiations, the Act of Accession was signed in the Royal Palace of Madrid in June 1985. Spain became a member of the European Union in January 1986.

 

The European Parliament welcomed the new Member States, Spain and Portugal, at the first plenary meeting in which they participated.

 

The enlargement necessitated the amendment of the Treaties of Rome. The result was the Single European Act signed in 1986.

1985-1991

1985

12 June

Signature of the Accession Treaties of Spain and Portugal.

1987

10 June

Special call for elections to the European Parliament in Spain, to renew the mandate of the 60 Members of the European Parliament who were designated by the Congress and Senate in 1986.

1986

Manuel Marín

Delors Commission I

Commissioner until 1999

 

© European Union, 1988

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

1985

1989

Abel Matutes

Enrique Barón

Delors Commission I

Commissioner until 1993

 

President of

the European Parliament.

© European Union, 1989.

© Photo Parlement Européen.

1989

1 January

1 January

15 June

Spanish Presidency of the Council with Felipe González as Spain Prime Minister. The 1989-1991 period of the Structural Funds starts. Spain, with a per capita income of less than 75% of the Community average, was almost entirely ’Objective One’ and therefore beneficiary of funding.

Logo of the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

European Parliament elections.

© European Union, 1989 · Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

   Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

© Ministerio de la Presidencia.

© Photo Parlement Européen.

1986

1 January

17 February

Accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Union (EU-12).

Francisco Fernández Ordóñez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signing the Single Act.

Luxembourg.

 

© Communautés Européennes, 1990.

1986

1987

1989

© ABC.

© European Commission.

© Agencia EFE.

© European Union, 1977   /   Source: EC - Audiovisual Service.

© European Union, 1977 .

© European Union, 1986.

© European Union, 1985   /   Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

 

Solidarity and Development

The arrival of EU funds meant an economic impulse that transformed landscapes, boosted business and improved the lives of millions of persons. The clearest example of the principle of EU solidarity.

1992 - 2001

The single market opened the door to a new and more competitive economy, where citizens share advantages, such as the free movement.

Time line

1992

Cobi

The mascot of the Olympic Games in Barcelona was the main feature in a year ending with the Edinburgh Summit, which agreed on the Cohesion Fund.

© Communautes Europeennes, 1991.

1994

Jose María

Gil-Robles

9 June. European Parliament elections in Spain. José María Gil-Robles, President of the European Parliament.

© Photo Parlement Européen.

1995

1 July

1 July

Spanish Presidency of the Council with Felipe González.

Logo of the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

© European Communities , 1998

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service  / Photo: Mark Renders.

© Ministerio de la Presidencia.

1995

Marcelino Oreja

Delors Commission III

Commissioner until 1999

 

© European Union, 1998

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

1994

Gil Carlos Rodríguez

7 October. Gil Carlos Rodríguez Iglesias, President of the Court of Justice of the EU until 2003. The task of the Court of Justice is to ensure respect for the law in the interpretation and application of the Treaties.

© Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea.

1999

Loyola de Palacio

Pedro Solbes

Javier Solana

Prodi Commission

Commissioner until 2004

 

Prodi Commission

Commissioner until 2004

 

Secretary-General of the European Council and High Representative for the CFSP.

© European Union, 2000

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

© European Union, 2000

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Georges Boulougouris.

© European Union, 1999.

1999

13 June

European Parliament elections

European Parliament elections are held every 5 years.

© Photo Parlement Européen.

1992

1992

7 February

Signature of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht): single currency, security, justice... EC is officially renamed European Union (EU).

© European Union, 1992  Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Christian Lambiotte.

1994

1995

1999

Erasmus or how to make 4 million people share experiences in education, training and volunteering. In 2004 the programme Erasmus was granted the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation.

 

The creation of a European area of higher education enhances the quality of qualifications and mobility between universities and the European Research Area, promotes networking and mobility of researchers.

 

The Lisbon Treaty boosts citizenship and enshrines the European values, by opening new ways for democratic participation and by incorporating the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

 

Youth,

citizenship

and values

2002 - 2015

The new Millennium already started, it becomes necessary to speak of a new currency, a new Treaty… and a new crisis.

Time line

2002

2004

2010

2012

2014

2015

2012

16 June

12 October

25 years of Erasmus.

EU is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

© European Parliament.

2015

12 June

30 years since the signature of the Treaty of

Accession to the European Union.

 

© European Union 2015 - Source : EP.

2010

1 January

1 January

17 June

Spanish Presidency of the Council with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as Prime Minister.

New system of Trio Presidency.

 

Logo of the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

The Council adopts the Europe 2020 Strategy for sustainable, smart and inclusive growth.

© European Union , 2010

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Frederic Stevens.

© Ministerio de la Presidencia.

2002

1 January

1 January

1 January

Spanish Presidency of the Council with José María Aznar as Prime Minister.

Logo of the Spanish Presidency of the Council.

Circulation of euro notes and coins. The single currency was approved in January 1999 by 11 countries.

© European Union, 2002.

© Ministerio de la Presidencia.

© European Communities , 1998   /  Source: EC - Audiovisual Service.

2004

2004

Josep Borrell

Joaquín Almunia

12 June

Elections to the European Parliament. Josep Borrell is elected EP President.

Prodi Commission

Commissioner until 2014

 

© Photo Parlement Européen.

© European Union, 2000

Source: Reporters Press Agency

Photo: Jean-Michel Clajot.

Jobs, Growth,

Fairness and Democratic

Change

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, when taking up his duties, has committed “to restore European citizens’ confidence, to focus our policies on the key challenges ahead for our economies and for our societies and to strengthen democratic legitimacy on the basis of the Community method.’

 

 

His commitment has been given practical form via ten priorities for the coming years, focused on the global challenges raised, such as: digital age, innovation and skills, scarcity of natural resources, food security, energy cost, impact of climate change, ageing of the population or suffering and poverty at Europe’s external borders.

 

A new boost for jobs, growth and investment

A connected digital single market

A deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union

A stronger global actor

A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy

A deeper and fairer internal market with a strengthened industrial base

A reasonable and balanced free trade agreement with the US

An area of justice and fundamental rights based on mutual trust

Towards a new policy on migration

A Union of Democratic Change

After several years when the main focus was put on the crisis management, the European Union has identified the global challenges to be addressed.

10 Priorities

Miguel Arias Cañete

26 November

Juncker Commission

Commissioner Climate Action & Energy.

President Juncker presents the Investment Plan to boost growth and employment.

© European Union, 2014

Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Shimera

Photo: Etienne Ansotte.

© European Union, 2014

Source: AFP-Services, EC - Audiovisual Service

Photo: Jean-François Badias.

2014

© European Union.

© Imágenes cedidas por BILBAO Ría 2000.

© European Union.

© European Union, 2007  /  Source: Sipa Press

Photo: Bruno Portela.

© European Union ,2015 / Source: EC‐ Audiovisual Service

Photo: Johanna Leguerre, Thomas Dechoux

© European Union , 2015 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service

   Graphic-artist: LutaValentina Morciano.

© Comisión Europea - Representación en España

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