• Europe’s Unsettling Parliamentary Elections: A View from Spain

    This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

    Since the first European parliamentary elections in 1979, and notwithstanding the growing powers of the Parliament, the prevailing impression these contests have left has been boredom, almost afterthoughts. Progressively declining voter turnout cycle after cycle drove home this point. Efforts to make the elections more relevant, like the establishment of the spitzenkandidaten system linking the results to the selection of the president of the European Commission, made hardly a blip. This year, however, the elections to be held between May 23 and 26 have gone from barely relevant to disquieting.

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  • Center-Left Bucks European Trend in Spain

    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez bucked a European trend on April 28 when he won a victory for his center-left Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) in parliamentary elections. The right-wing People’s Party (PP), by contrast, suffered the same fate as conservatives elsewhere and lost support to the far right. Both stories come with a unique Spanish twist.
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  • Spain Votes: Here’s What You Should Know

    Undecided voters hold the key

    Spaniards will vote on April 28 to renew parliament for the third time in four years. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s center-left Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) leads in the polls, but with just 30 percent of support. The latest surveys show only a grand coalition of both left and right parties, or a left bloc supported by some regional parties that support Catalan independence, can reach the majority needed to form a government, but much will depend on the 40 percent of still undecided voters.

    The elections follow eleven months of Sánchez’s PSOE minority government, which came to power after Mariano Rajoy’s center-right People’s Party government lost a vote of no confidence on June 1, 2018. Rajoy’s government had been supported by Ciudadanos, a center-right party founded in 2006 with a focus on addressing corruption, market


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  • Stronger with Allies: Spanish and US Navies Doing More Together

    The Álvaro de Bazán-class Aegis frigate SPS Méndez Núñez (F-104) steaming alongside one of our most lethal and capable naval assets, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), is a sight to behold. For a better part of the past year, Méndez Núñez and its crew, led by Capt. Antonio Gonzalez del Tanago de la Lastra, have integrated into the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, and will continue to operate as one of Lincoln’s escorts during its around-the-world deployment, which is currently underway. This is a powerful display of how integrated the United States is with its NATO allies, including la Armada Española, the Spanish Navy.
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  • Whatever the Outcome of Elections in Spain, the Catalans Lose

    Snap elections are likely in Spain after Catalan independence parties withdrew their support from Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s government on February 13. They backed the social democrat in June in order to unseat a right-wing government that had refused any concessions to the independence movement, but Sánchez was unwilling to meet the Catalans’ ultimate demand: a legal referendum on secession from Spain.

    Toppling Sánchez may turn out to be a costly mistake.

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  • Rising Populism and the Future of Europe

    On Thursday, December 13th, the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program and the Embassy of Spain co-hosted an event on rising populism in Europe, celebrating the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Spain’s pluralistic constitution.

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  • Right-Wing Party Gains Ground in Spain

    For much of the past decade, Spain has been an exception to the Europe-wide electoral rise of populist right-wing parties. The December 2 regional election in Andalusia ended the Spanish anomaly. As the results poured in, heads turned in Europe as Vox, a populist right-wing party, won 11 percent of the vote and twelve seats in the Andalusian parliament. Most polls in the lead-up to the vote had the party around the 5 percent mark.

    Populism is nothing new in Spanish politics. In recent years, left-wing Podemos has successfully employed a brand of populism that appealed to large portions of the electorate in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The conservative platform, on the other hand, was dominated in the 2008 and 2011 elections by the center-right People’s Party (PP).

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  • EU-Friendly Government in Spain Likely After Rajoy’s Ouster

    French President Emmanuel Macron could soon find an ally in Madrid. Just as Italy installs a government that opposes his proposals for closer integration within the European Union (EU), the most pro-European party in Spain could be on the verge of leading the next government.

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  • Turmoil in Euro Area Spreads as Rajoy’s Government is Ousted in Spain

    Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government was ousted in a no-confidence vote on June 1, sharpening a crisis within the European Union (EU) which is already dealing with the political uncertainty in Italy.

    Rajoy’s startling ouster marked the first time Spain’s leader has been toppled in such a way since the country transitioned to a democracy in 1978. Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the main opposition Socialist Party (PSOE), will succeed Rajoy and is expected to call early elections.

    While Southern Europe is gripped by a political crisis, the situation in Spain and Italy is different.

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  • Oosterveld Quoted in Newsweek on Ousting of Spain's Prime Minister Amid Corruption Scandal

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