“The influence, and weakness, of Spain’s European policy in the face of the pandemic: from a diagnostic to proposals and recommendations”, Ignacio Molina and Federico Steinberg (Elcano, Spain)

The coronavirus represents a major challenge for the EU and its Member States, with Spain among the countries that will be hardest hit. The crisis has struck when the country is extremely fragile but also at a time when it aspires to play a proactive and leading role in Brussels. This paper provides an initial diagnostic of the political and economic position of Spain in the context of developments in the EU in March and April 2020. It also sets out ideas to minimise the many risks on the horizon and take advantage of the opportunities also created by the situation. It aims to help identify the supranational response most closely aligned with Spain’s national interest, taking into account a number of issues: how to address the management of the disease and the re-establishment of mobility at the European level; the crucial economic decisions for financing reconstruction (the European Stability Mechanism, coronabonds, perpetual debt and the European budget) and the specific allocation of funds (digital agenda, decarbonisation, inclusion and unemployment); the institutional and national alliances and narratives to support the measures; and the best way to connect this complex negotiation to domestic politics, given Spain’s young and polarised parliament and the risk of weakening pro-European sentiment.

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