Spain strengthens international presence in 2017

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Spain strengthens international presence in 2017

El rey Felipe VI junto al ex secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki-moon. EFE/Sergio Barrenechea. (EFE)
El rey Felipe VI junto al ex secretario general de la ONU, Ban Ki-moon. EFE/Sergio Barrenechea. (EFE)

Spain will reinforce its international role in 2017, a year marked by global challenges like Brexit negotiations, discussions on the path to be taken by the European Union (EU) or Spain-USA relations.

Elcano Royal Institute (RIE) analyses these issues in its fifth study on foreign policy, Spain in the World 2017: Prospects and Challenges. The report shows where our country stands this year in the international scenario and takes stock of the same issues in the past year.

The report, prepared by a team of 28 RIE scholars headed by senior researcher Ignacio Molina, claims that Spain recovered its international prestige and influence thanks to remarkable economic growth and leadership in major international organisations.

Moreover, with a score of 62 over a maximum of 100 in 2013, Spain now has 68 points (more than Germany), standing 17th according to Country RepTrak results.

Spain as a world power

Beyond subjective perception, Spain is consolidating itself as a middle power with a global presence. It is the fourth most important EU country, has the 14th largest economy in the world and stands among the 30 countries with the highest level of welfare.

The latest data in the Elcano Global Presence Index reveal that Spain is 12th in terms of international projection, with a 2.3% share at the global level.

In the view of RIE, Spain should be a pillar for European integration and the promotion of strong multilateral organisations. This is the second goal in Article 2 of the Spanish State Foreign Action and Service Law, adopted in 2014.

In this regard, our country made huge progress during its fifth two-year term at the UN Security Council, where it is the ninth largest member by contribution to the UNSC overall budget and tenth by contribution to peace missions.

Climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the massive flow of refugees and migrants are priority issues to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Spain has taken long steps in all these areas.