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Spanish Foreign Policy Under the Socialists Eusebio Mujal-León The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) accession to power in December 1982 testified to the solidity of nascent Spanish democracy and to the remarkably peaceful transition from authoritarian Spain experienced during the 1970s. It also sparked great interest in the nature of the changes the PSOE would make once in power. Few expected dramatic departures or developments in domestic policy. Such was not the case in foreign policy however, where historically the Socialists had had a more "ideological" cast. A supporter of Spanish accession to the European Economic Community (EEC), from the mid-1970s the PSOE had nevertheless announced its desire to pursue a policy of "active neutrality" which would progressively disassociate Spain from its bilateral military relationship with the United States and from its role in the Atlantic security system. Sharply critical of the foreign policy followed by the Franco regime and the UCD government, the Socialists wanted Spain to carve out for itself a new, autonomous and independent foreign policy role, one which would permit Spain to function as a bridge between the industrialized and the underdeveloped countries, and particularly to develop special links with Latin America and the Arab world. The Socialist promise to hold a referendum on Spanish membership in NATO (Spain had joined the organization in May 1982, five months before the Socialists' election victory) was only the most visible promise of what was a much broader commitment to redirect Spanish foreign policy.1 This essay has as its objective an analysis of Spanish foreign policy under the first Socialist government (1982-86). The first section will analyze the historical legacy which has set the framework for Spanish foreign policy in the second half of the 20th century. The second section will define the three most important Spanish Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Volume 6, 1988. 27 28 Eusebio Mujal-Léon foreign policy objectives, and discuss how these have been pursued and modified since the Socialist government took office in 1982. The conclusion will speculate on the directions Spanish foreign policy may take during the coming decade. I During the 20th century, Spanish politics have been dominated by one challenge—the reinsertion of Spain into Western Europe. The struggle to reinsert Spain into the European world after nearly five centuries of isolation and marginalization has blended both domestic and foreign policy components. At one level, the process involved an arduous struggle to establish and consolidate a parliamentary democracy. Spain's democratic experiment in the 1930s ended in Civil War, and Francisco Franco subsequently installed an authoritarian regime that lasted for nearly four decades. After a first decade and a half during which harsh rule and difficult economic conditions predominated, the Franco regime abandoned its autarkic policies and pursued a set of economic and social policies which, unwittingly or not, transformed the face of Spanish society and laid the foundations for the subsequent transition to democracy. The political dimension of this transition combined pressure from below (in the form of strikes, demonstrations, and public assumption of democratic values) and an adaptive response from regime elites. Their interaction led to democratic elections in June 1977 and the drafting of a new Constitution. The foreign policy side of the Spanish search for a European identity began in the 1920s and 1930s but was interrupted by the Civil War. The latter brought economic devastation, and in the aftermath of World War II came renewed isolation. Spain was mired in an economic crisis in the mid-1950s. Franco hoped to use increased trade with the European Economic Community (EEC) and the United States as a vehicle for economic growth and, therefore, his regime liberalized commercial and banking laws and encouraged labor migration and tourism. The results were spectacular: over 2 million Spaniards migrated to EEC countries between 1960 and 1973 (Pike and Stritch 1974: 138); EEC countries accounted for more than onethird of all foreign investment in Spain between 1960 and 1975 (Klepak 1980: 94); and by 1975, approximately 45 percent of Spanish exports went to EEC markets and another 15 percent to European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Scorcciolo 1979: 238). Many foreign investors—American but also European...


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