With the Spanish having officially taken the helm of the work of the Council of the European Union, APCO’s Brussels office, in collaboration with our Spanish affiliate Harmon, have developed a guide to the Spanish EU Council Presidency. With this guide, we hope to help you navigate the current political environment in Spain, including the upcoming snap elections on the 23rd of July, as well as what a new government could mean for Brussels.
The political context in Spain has rapidly evolved in recent weeks, and, with it, the expectations of Spanish political stakeholders for the Spanish Presidency. If the current government led by the Socialist Party fails to secure a solid majority and the conservative Popular Party finds itself at the helm, a significant shift in the tone and approach of the Presidency can certainly be expected.
From the perspective of Brussels, the Spanish EU Council Presidency represents the last uninterrupted opportunity to wrap-up any outstanding legislative proposals before the European elections in June 2024. In Brussels, there is also growing concern about the prospect of Hungary, the only EU Member State to be classified as ‘Partly Free’ by Freedom house, rounding up the Trio Programme.
A new government in Spain would also have important implications beyond the Presidency. A conservative government in Spain would give right-wing parties a boost in the run-up to the European elections: those vying for a centre-right/far-right coalition in the next European Parliament would point to the Spanish results as part of a trend which we are seeing in the Southern and most Northern parts of Europe. A success in Spain for the Popular Party could even represent a turnaround in the European People’s Party’s fortunes at the start of a new political cycle.