I remember the Europe I wanted 40 years ago. Spain was on the verge of transition to democracy after the death of Franco and the end of his dictatorship. To be a member of the then European Community gave us a fantastic opportunity to consolidate our democratic institutions, to start the construction of a welfare state and to strengthen our international role. All these goals were achieved, and are very good reasons for renewing Spain’s original support for the European integration process.

But some major uncertainties are now looming, so a political response at the highest level is needed. The euro area must evolve into a fully-fledged Economic and Monetary Union. Our growth rates and competitiveness levels should again represent a solid base for our social model and so reduce inequalities and offer opportunities for all. The EU’s single market has to be extended to the energy sector, the digital economy and capital flows. Free movement of persons must be guaranteed, and the EU’s external action service must become the best platform for ensuring that our common values and interests will still be relevant to the 21st century.

I am fully aware of the resistance from those who still think that national sovereignty is our best asset for preserving our identity and our way of life. But I am convinced they are wrong. A strong Europe and a more political European Union is the best way to reinforce our democracies, protect our freedoms and provide for a better future.


Collaboration for Europe’s World, Autumm2015 

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