Driven by crisis: Spanish foreign and security policy in 2011

Publication date:
Richard Gillespie

If 2010 had already been a terrible year for Spain in terms of a weakening of its international position (Molina and Tovar, 2011), Spanish diplomatic activity in 2011 was to be affected even more decisively by the repercussions of the financial crisis and its ramifications in Europe. Foreign and security policy was to suffer from major cuts in public expenditure, affecting diplomatic activity and above all international cooperation. Yet not only was Spain’s operational capacity for a foreign and security policy hit: the crisis led its government to become obsessed with the challenge of reversing the country’s financial and economic misfortunes. And given that these were now so intimately bound up with the Eurozone crisis, Europe inevitably became the prime focus of political and diplomatic activity.