A stronger relationship between Poland and Spain could provide alternative solutions and help to achieve a stronger and more united Europe. Both countries share the experience of democratic transitions intrinsically linked to the European integration process and are the clearest examples of the benefits that come with EU membership.
The first 100 days of the new Spanish government have been characterised by a low international profile. Its main priorities have been determined by the economic crisis: Europe as the main reference and a major boost to economic diplomacy.
The EU has made modest changes to its democracy support, but still requires more fundamental reform to its policies.
Chancellor Merkel’s push for fiscal austerity is seriously damaging the German image. The costs are high: the decline of European integration, a creeping north-south divide between member states and the loss of global influence on trade liberalisation, development and climate change.
Despite the EU’s internal and broader external concerns, Poland and Spain have potential to bolster their relationship, in particular through further development of its institutional framework and from recasting the dialogue on questions such as European neighbourhood or European defense cooperation.
Geo-economics is now at the forefront of EU external policies. This collection of essays examines the kinds of geo-economic power that the EU must adopt to meet the key challenges of 2012.