Sánchez confirms the beginning of a new stage in the already close cooperation between Spain and Germany at bilateral and European levels with Scholz

President's News - 17.1.2022

The heads of Government, who have evidenced the excellent relationship between Spain and Germany, addressed the intense European agenda such as the evolution of COVID-19 and the development of vaccines, climate policy, migration, new tax rules and the 'NextGenerationEU' recovery funds. The leaders also discussed issues on the international agenda, such as the forthcoming NATO Summit that Spain will host on 29 and 30 June 2022.

As a result of this good harmony, the leaders have agreed that a German-Spanish Summit will be held in the first half of 2022. The President of the Government of Spain stressed that this Bilateral Summit "will help to further boost the intense bilateral relations" of two countries where numerous basic positions coincide. Spain will also participate this year as a guest country at the Frankfurt International Book Fair.

The good relations between the two countries are further evidenced by the thousands of Spanish and German citizens currently living in the other country, as well as the more than 11 million German tourists who visited Spain annually before the pandemic.

Germany is Spain's second largest trade customer and its main supplier, with a trade balance that in 2020, the worst year due to the pandemic, exceeded 63 billion euros. There are currently more than 1,325 German companies in Spain and around 260 Spanish ones, with interests in the automotive, construction, infrastructure, renewable energy and water management sectors. There is also growing cooperation in the scientific and digital fields.

On European affairs, the President of the Government of Spain said: "If the past has shown anything, it is that Spain and Germany have achieved great things when we have worked hand in hand, because we are more than the sum of the two countries. Today, therefore, we are putting this harmony at the service of a greater ambition for the European Union.

Both leaders share the same vision for social and economic progress, which, for the Spanish president, translates into "the determination to guarantee and restore dignity and respect for our citizens, our workers, our young people and our elderly". In this sense, Sánchez and Scholz agree on the "notion of justice" in the double transition, and the need for Spain and Germany to "promote Social Europe, as well as the defence of our social democratic values and principles".

Another of the topics discussed during the meeting was the commitment of both countries to the European 'NextGenerationEU' funds. In this regard, President Sánchez emphasised the "immense opportunity" for Spain's modernisation that the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan represents and the need to link investments and reforms to the green and digital transitions.

The two leaders discussed the European Commission's proposal on green taxonomy, the Pact on Migration and Asylum, and the reform of European economic governance in which "both countries agree that tax rules are too complex and hardly enforceable in the context of the pandemic". The Government of Spain considers that they should be reformed with two considerations in mind: responding to the climate challenge and digitalisation, while ensuring the sustainability of finances in the medium term.

The President of the Government of Spain concluded his speech with Scholz by stressing that today marks the beginning of a new stage in Spanish-German relations "that should allow us to develop our potential even further", and added: "Today is just the first day of work, of many to come, working together, at different levels, in this direction".

Non official translation