The Kingdom of Spain
Land boundaries total:1,952.7 km
Border countries: Andorra 63 km, France 646 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,224 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 8 km, Morocco (Melilla) 10.5 km; 75 meter border between Morocco and the Spanish Penon de Velez de la Gomera.
Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. This Spanish mainland is bordered to the south and east almost entirely by the Mediterranean Sea (except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar); to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Additionally a small exclave inside France (Llívia), the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza) in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and five places of sovereignty in northern Africa, are Spanish territory. There are five big mountain ranges across the country.
With an area of 505,990km2, Spain is the world's fifty-first largest country and Europe's fourth largest country. With a population of 46 million people, Spain is the sixth largest in the European Union.
Madrid is the capital city of Spain. It has the third-largest GDP in the European Union.
Position on the geopolitical map:
Rimland. Now predominantly Continentalist geopolitical orientation
A flexible approach to the “Eurasianist – Atlanticist”
Main geopolitical allies:
members of the NATO and of the European Union (especially France, Andorra, and Portugal);Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean and Latin America, the Middle East;Thailand and Indonesia (main allies in the ASEAN region)
the United Kingdom, Morocco
Russia; Australia and Oceania; Canada; East, South and Central Asia
Sphere of national interests:
Iberian Peninsula, Mediterranean Europe, North Africa, Latin America
- Despite strict law enforcement efforts, North African, Latin American, Galician, and European traffickers take advantage of Spain's long coastline to land large shipments of illicit drugs for distribution to the European market.
- Spain’s commitment to NATO is its financial contribution (the seventh largest contributor) and participation in operations that it carries out. In 2003 José María Aznar, the former Prime Minister of Spain, supported the US in war against Iraq.
- 11 March 2004: a local Islamist terrorist group inspired by Al-Qaeda carried out the largest terrorist attack in Spanish history when they killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others by bombing commuter trains in Madrid. Aznarrushed to blame the Basque separatists in the organization of the attack despite the lack of evidence.
- September 2015: the coalition of regional separatists won in the elections to the regional parliament. (62 places out of 135). In November, the parliament of Catalonia accepted the resolution of independence of Catalonia from Spain (according to the resolution, within 18 months Catalonia will secede from Spain, during this 18 months the necessary government structures of a new state will be created in Catalonia and a new constitution will be written).
- May 2016: NATO accused the Spanish government of betraying the interests of the military-political bloc. Madrid allowed Russian Navy vessels to refuel in Ceuta (about 30 kilometers from Gibraltar).
- October 2016: Russian vesselswill not be stopping for fuel at a Spanish port because NATO had lashed out at the Madrid when the Spanish authorities allowed the Russian Navy ships to enter Spanish ports.
- November 2016: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spainrequested clarification from Israel due to the fact that its agriculture minister gave Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev a Spanish-made drone which may contain technology not meant to be shared.
- Dispute over Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Spain claims Gibraltar, a 6-square-kilometre Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom in the southernmost part of the Iberian Peninsula. In 2002 Gibraltar residents rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty.
- Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and the islands of Penon de Velez de la Gomera, Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters.
- Spain and Morocco claim Isla Perejil (Leila Island).
- Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz.
Ethnical structure: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types
Religious structure: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6%
Language: Castilian Spanish (official nationwide) 74%, Catalan (official in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (where it is known as Valencian)) 17%, Galician (official in Galicia) 7%, Basque (official in the Basque Country and in the Basque-speaking area of Navarre) 2%, Aranese (official in the northwest corner of Catalonia (Valld'Aran) along with Catalan; <5,000 speakers)
Political schema: Spain is a constitutional monarchy with a hereditary monarch. The head of the executive is the Prime Minister.Spain has a multi-party system at both the national and regional level. Regional parties are strong in autonomous communities Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Nationally dominant political parties are:
- People's Party (PP) — mainstream centre-right party
- Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) — mainstream centre-left social democratic party linked to General Union of Workers trade union
- United We Can (Unidos Podemos, UP) — a republican left-wing electoral alliance
- Citizens (Ciudadanos) — a centrist, business-friendly party
When General Francisco Franco died in 1975, Spain had embarked on the restoration of democracy. Franco statues and memorials have been removed from public places. On the 30th of May 1982, Spain joined NATO. Spain wanted a guarantee of its territorial integrity fromNATO by protecting it from possible foreign expansionism, principally from Morocco, which had ambitions to conquer two Spanish cities in North Africa: Ceuta and Melilla. The Spanish Government feared potential offensive posturing by two other North African countries, Algeria and Libya.
Spain joined the European Economic Communityin 1986. On January 1st 2002, Spain fully adopted the Euro.
Spain’s mountainous terrain has led to the emergence of regionalist and separatist movements, especially in Catalonia and the Basque Country. Spain’s geopolitical challenge is to bring about a truly united nation with a balance of power between the central government in Madrid and the autonomous regions.
The Spanish economy is the fifth largest in the European Union, and the fourth largest in the Eurozone, based on nominal GDP statistics. Traditionally Spain is an agricultural country, is also one of the largest manufacturers of Western Europe.
Spain has strong innovations, such as renewable energy, biotechnology, transportation and technology industries, small and medium-sized enterprises. The problems of the Spanish economy are low labor participation and inflation.
The most important sectors of Spain’s economy in 2015 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation, and food services (24.5%), public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (18.7%), and industry (17.0%).
- Export goods: machinery, motor vehicles; foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods
- Main export partners: France 15.7%, Germany 11%, Italy 7.4%, UK 7.4%, Portugal 7.1%, US 4.5% (2015)
- Import goods: machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, semi-finished goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, measuring and medical control instruments
- Main import partners:Germany 14.4%, France 11.7%, China 7.1%, Italy 6.5%, Netherlands 5%, UK 4.9% (2015)
The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and etc.