Spanish foreign minister highlights commitment to multilateralism in meeting with OECD

Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell met with the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ángel Gurría to discuss the future of multilateralism, as well as future contributions to the organization. Borrell sought to reiterate Spain's commitment to multilateral participation and the OECD in particular, applauding the organization's recent acceptance of Colombia and Lithuania as member states.

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)


Former EU Parliament President Josep Borrell to be appointed Spain's foreign minister

According to several media outlets, the former President of the European Parliament (2004-2007) Josep Borrell will be appointed head of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC). After being officially appointed in a few days, Borrell, who is a veteran politician from the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and very close to new Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, will define the MAEC’s governing structure, including for its the development-related administrative bodies e.g., development agency AECID, development secretary of state, and leadership officials.

Other members of the new Spanish government may include: Carmen Calvo as Minister of Presidency and Gender Equity, María Jesús Montero as Minister of Finance, Nadia Calviño as Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, and Teresa Ribera as Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

News article – El País


Socialist Pedro Sánchez replaces Mariano Rajoy as new prime minister of Spain

The Spanish parliament approved the Socialist Party’s (PSOE) no-confidence motion against prime minister Mariano Rajoy with 180 out of 350 votes. As a consequence, the socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has been elected as the new prime minister of Spain. Sánchez will form a new government in the coming days; it will have the capacity to run until the end of the current term of office, mid-2020.

Despite assuring the no-confidence motion would serve to call for snap elections at some point, PM Sánchez made clear his government would work to pass a new state budget for 2019. In addition to that, he also said his cabinet would be keen to adopt Rajoy’s government budget draft for 2018, which includes an 8% increase in Spain’s development assistance compared to 2017 estimates, in case it is finally approved by the parliament.

Press release – Spanish Congress (in Spanish)


Spanish PM Rajoy to face parliament's no-confidence motion

The Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Spain's leading opposition party, has filed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. This comes after the highest criminal court in Spain found that Rajoy's governing People’s Party benefited from a corruption scandal, and sentenced its former treasurer to jail.

PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez may be elected as new prime minister and eventually form a new government, if the no-confidence motion against Rajoy is passed in the parliament on May 31 and June 1, 2018. The leftist party Podemos, as well as other forces, have shown their willingness to support the motion, although the center-right Ciudadanos party will likely reject it.

News article – the Guardian

Press release – Congress of Deputies (in Spanish)


Queen Letizia of Spain visits AECID projects in Dominican Republic and Haiti

Queen Letizia of Spain made an official visit to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to visit projects funded by the Spanish development agency AECID. She was accompanied by the Secretary of State for International Co-operation and Ibero-America, Fernando García Casas.

In the Dominican Republic, the Queen met with Dominican president Danilo Medina and visited a project for young women's sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) led by Plan International and UNICEF. She also chaired a meeting with a series of non-governmental organizations at AECID’s headquarters in Haiti.

Press release – MAEC (in Spanish)

Spain Global health

Spanish NGO network launches 2017 development NGO report

The Spanish development non-governmental organization (NGO) umbrella organization CONGDE has launched its annual report on the development NGO sector. The 2017 report analyzes indicators on CONGDE’s 74 member organizations and its 17 associate regional NGO platforms. Among other findings, CONGDE underlines that up to 2.3 million people in Spain contribute to development NGOs, with private funding to NGOs having increased by 44% from 2012 to 2016. Meanwhile, public contributions have increased by just 2%.

Press release – CONGDE (in Spanish)


Spain announces new humanitarian assistance for Gaza

The Spanish development agency AECID has announced two contributions totaling €1.2 million (US$1.3 million) to support Palestinians in Gaza. Responding to a recent call by the UN for support to Gaza, AECID’s humanitarian assistance disbursements will mainly aim to support the provision of emergency health goods and services. One contribution of €600,000 (US$664,000) will be channeled through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the other will go to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)


Pro-independence MP Quim Torra elected as new Catalan president

The regional parliament of Catalonia has elected pro-independence MP Quim Torra as its new president.

Following Torra’s victory, the Spanish central government has emphasized the end of its direct rule of the Catalan regional government and institutions. This direct rule was established by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in the midst of a regional secessionist crisis. 

The new appointment is likely to lead to the 2018 state budget bill being approved by the Spanish national parliament. According to the budget draft, in 2018 Spanish official development aid (ODA) will amount to €2.6 billion (US$2.9 billion), or 0.22% of its GNI. This is an 8% increase compared to 2017 levels.

News article – The Guardian


Spain's 2018 Princess of Asturias award for international cooperation goes to Amref

The Spanish Foundation Princess of Asturias announced that its 2018 award for international co-operation will be awarded to the global health NGO Amref Health Africa. The Foundation Princess of Asturias underlined in a press release that the work done by Amref, particularly through its initiative “Flying Doctors”, has been providing essential health services to millions of vulnerable people in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Press release – Fundación Princesa de Asturias (in Spanish)

Spain Global health

Think tank Elcano analyzes Spain's position in world politics

The Spanish foreign affairs think tank Elcano Royal Institute released the policy brief “Spain in the world 2018”, which analyzes the most relevant developments, challenges, and opportunities surrounding Spain’s foreign action in the current times. Among other topics, it outlines the Spanish government’s recent decisions aimed at advancing towards the implementation of the sustainable development 2030 Agenda, such as the creation of the High-Level Working Group for the 2030 Agenda and the approval of the new Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021. Elcano’s policy brief underlines that a new foreign plan for Africa will be released in 2018.

Press release – Elcano Institute (in Spanish)