Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


3. Spain and the European Union


Spain became a full member of the European Economic Community in 1986. In this connection and according to figures published by the European Commission, Spain fully complies with the objectives established by the European Council.

A major impact of European Union membership for Spain, and for the other Member States, came in the mid-nineties with the advent of the European Single Market and the European Economic Area, which created a genuine barrier-free trading space.

Since then, the EU has advanced significantly in the process of unification by strengthening the political and social ties among its citizens. Spain, throughout this process, has always stood out as one of the leaders in the implementation of liberalization measures.

Since July 1, 2013, with the addition of Croatia, the European Union now has 28 Member States[8].

With the aim of strengthening democracy, efficiency and transparency within the EU and, in turn, its ability to meet global challenges such as climate change, security, and sustainable development, on December 13, 2007, the then 27 EU Member States signed the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force —subject to prior ratification by each of the 27 Member States— on December 1, 2009. The European Parliament elections took place between June 4 and 7 of that year [9].

Spain holds significant responsibilities within the EU, evidenced by the fact that it is, along with Poland, the fifth country in terms of voting power on the Council of Ministers. In 2010, Spain assumed the Council Presidency of the European Union for the fourth time, for the period from January to June.

The introduction of the Euro (on January 1, 2002) heralded the start of the third Spanish presidency of the European Council and represented the culmination of a long process and the creation of a veritable array of opportunities for growth for Spanish and European markets. Since January 1, 2015, with the addition of Lithuania, Eurozone membership now stands at nineteen.

The euro has led to the creation of a single currency area within the EU that makes up the world's largest business area, bringing about the integration of the financial markets and economic policies of the area's member states, strengthening ties between the member states' tax systems and bolstering the stability of the European Union.

Furthermore, the adoption of a single European currency has had a clear impact at an international level, raising the profile of the Eurozone at both international and financial gatherings (G-7 meetings) and within multilateral organizations. The economic and business stability offered by the euro have contributed to the growth of the Spanish economy, as well as its international political standing. In addition, measures are being implemented to strengthen the European economy; for example, the Euro-Plus Pact designed to consolidate the coordination of the economic policy in the Economic and Monetary Union, and an EU multiannual spending plan (2014-2020) to stimulate growth. Spain remains committed to structural reforms under the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Compact for Growth and Jobs which will boost economic growth, investment and employment, based on a more competitive European Union.

Guide to business in Spain

Spain: an attractive profile


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
Elaborado por Garrigues - Abogados y Asesores Tributarios
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