The open and hospitable nature of Spanish people is a hallmark of our country. Throughout our history, we have been a land where different cultures have coexisted—Christians, Muslims and Jews living alongside each other for centuries. As a result, Spain has a rich historical and cultural heritage. What is more, our special relationship with Ibero-American people added to this rich cultural heritage, helping to shape our open, multicultural, tolerant and respectful character.
The Spanish Constitution of 1978 ensures social harmony, protects the rights of minorities and states that no one can be discriminated against because of where they were born, or their race, sex, religion, opinion or any other personal circumstance. It also recognizes the co-official languages of Spain and confers one of the world’s highest degrees of self-governance to Autonomous Communities. The Spanish democratic system is considered one of the best in the world and according to international indexes, Spain is among the top 20 countries classed as a ‘Full Democracy’.
Spain is home to 5.5 million people who have arrived from other countries looking for a better future. These immigrants and their children represent 11% of the Spanish population and, in Spain they have found a great place to live, work and study. Citizens from other countries feel welcome and 80% of their children adapt to Spain without any problems. Hence, our country has one of the highest rates of integration in the world.
Spain is seen worldwide as one of the most attractive countries for vacations. Every year, more than seventy million tourists choose to spend their holidays in our country, and for many reasons: our cultural heritage, our food, our landscape… but also because of the welcoming, open and cheerful Spanish people, who make them feel at home.
In 2005, Spain became the third country in the world to approve same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium. Since then, homosexual couples have full equal rights in their dealings with the government, at the same level as heterosexual couples. They also have the right to joint adoption, inheritance and pension. Every year, the Spanish capital hosts Pride Madrid, a gigantic party which brings together members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community (LGBT) from all over the world.
One of Spain’s objectives is to be a country for everybody; an open space, where everyone can use the same services and products whatever their abilities and no one is discriminated against. In order to achieve this goal, quite some time ago our country stopped designing products specifically for people with disabilities. Today, Spain applies universal accessibility criteria to its design and management in every possible area: transport systems; tourism and leisure activities; education; sport; publicly available goods and services; IT; and relations between citizens and government.