• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Have the Costs of Spain’s Membership of the European Union Outweighed its Advantages?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Have the Costs of Spain's Membership of the European Union Outweighed its Advantages? How has fifteen years of European Union membership affected politics, economy and culture in Spain? In what ways has Spain's membership of the European Union been of benefit? Have these benefits been worth the Spaniards' efforts to go through the thorny journey? These questions will be born in mind throughout this essay as it aims to answer the question whether or not the advantages have outweighed the costs of Spain's EU membership since its acceptance in 1, January, 1986. In 1982, the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE) came to power and played a crucial role leading the country down the road to European Community membership, which they associated with modernization1. Several factors contributed to Spain's decision to apply for EC membership. First, Spain wanted to complete the process of gaining credibility in the political arena and saw EC membership as a way of solidifying its acceptance of democracy. Second, on a symbolic level, membership for Spain represented a decisive break from the country's past. In terms of economic benefits, Spain wanted to gain entry into the EC's agriculture market as well gain benefits from attracting foreign investment. Spain's desire for EC membership was also triggered by the large amounts of structural funds that the country would receive upon accession. First, this essay will briefly look into the political structure of the European Union and then analyze the impacts it has had on Spain. ...read more.

Middle

Under pressure by the Western powers, Spain joined NATO in return for membership in the EC. This dual membership gave the Spanish state the opportunity to become a key player in the international political arena. A significant example to a crucial role Spain played in the international politics is during 1990, when the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) was held in Palma de Mallorca. Confronted with the issue of immigration from the southern part of the Mediterranean and environmental degradation, Spain achieved to persuade CSCE to identify "economic cooperation as central to the protection of the Mediterranean" and to attract attention to the necessity of social and economic development in the region11. However, there are also those who argue that Spain is becoming more and more dependent on others in making its foreign policies. For example, the normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel and Albania in 1986 was when Spain had to align its diplomatic relations with the other EC members'. Yet, this should not be considered as being dependent on others because Spain chooses to do so to benefit from it in return. The next part of the essay will analyse the economic impacts of the EU membership on Spain and will show that there have been very significant improvements in its economy after its accession in 1986. Furthermore, these economic benefits have often resulted in positive political outcomes for Spain; for example, with more economic powers, Spain has gained a prestige and become a first world country. ...read more.

Conclusion

Besides, as the examples have supported, the economic success of Spain during this time can not be exaggerated. However, still, challenges such as corruption, terrorism, high unemployment and relative poverty (compared to its European partners) remain in front of Spain, and thus Spain, evaluating its last fifteen years, is unlikely to end this beneficial partnership in the future. 1 Paul Heywod, Government and Politics of Spain, p. 222. 2 Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union, p 2. 3 Peter Mair, p. 110. 4 Representative Government in Modern Europe, edited by Peter Mair, p. 112. 5 Representative Government in Europe, p. 89-90. 6 Quim Burugue, Catalonia: Governance and Europeanization, p. 109.. 7Other criticisms point to the lack of enough linkage between the regional and the EU level governments. Jones, p. 188. 8 Spain and EC Membership Evaluated, Almarcha Barbado (ed.), p. 154. 9 Quim Burugue, Catalonia: Governance and Europeanization, p. 113. 10Paul Heywood, Government and State of Politics, p.281. 11 Paul Heywood, Government and State of Politics, p.273. 12 Paul Heywood, Government and State of Politics, p. 271. 13 Alfred Tovias, Spain in the European Community, p. 95. 14 Europe Today, ed. By Ronald Tiersky, p. 178. 15 Europe Today, ed. By Ronald Tiersky, p. 179. 16 'Implications of accession into the European Community and its influence on FDI' by Mary Catherine Heard, http://wehner.tamu.edu/mgmt.www/nafta/spring99/Groups99/bunny/final.htm 17 Europe Today, p. 182. 18 Alfred Tovias, "Spain in the European Community", p. 96. 19 http://www.euclid.co.uk/panfund/05a.html. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level European Union section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level European Union essays

  1. An Analysis of the Powers of the European Parliament.

    modus operandi governed by the Rules of Procedure6 In this respect the European Parliament successfully asserted its independence claiming that in the absence of Treaty provisions it was free to choose the place of its proceedings7 This was eventually settled by the protocol on the location of the seats of the institutions attached to the EP.

  2. Critically discuss how global economic trend may impact upon the future policies of the ...

    Moreover, advanced travel bookings through internet can save their time to visit the travel agencies too. Technological changes lie at another core of liberalisation. In 1997, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) found that by increasing the size of the market and trade, economic globalisation provides firms with greater incentives

  1. The Institutional Consequences of Domestic Politics on Africa's International Relations and Regional Cooperation.

    If a care-snatching incident had taken place, they will visit the venue and draw a circle. After some hours, the car snatcher will return the vehicle at the point where it was snatched. During their trial, they make the suspect confess all the evil things he had dome from childhood at the negation of modern institution of adjudication.

  2. How important is the European Parliament?

    The MEPs are, therefore, statistically more likely to hold greater experience than the Council of Ministers. The European Parliament has been deemed a "talking shop" in the past. However, the EP is now invested with legal powers within the European Court of Justice, as the Chernobyl Case of 1990 shows.

  1. European Union

    The ECJ held that national courts must set aside any national law which conflicted with EC law, whether prior or subsequent to EC law.

  2. Examine the extent to which membership of the European Union has affected the sovereignty ...

    This appears to be a breach of Parliamentary sovereignty. Furthermore, Lord Bridge suggested during the case that Parliament has, in the European Communities Act 1972, managed to bind its successors from repealing the Act. There is also the case of Van Gend en Loos v Netherlands (1962)

  1. Free essay

    Account for the different political and public attitudes towards Turkey's application for EU membership.

    The EU average supporting view is only 36%. > Turkish public: A factor that seems to have been pushed aside until now is whether the Turks as a majority want to join the EU. There are many different opinions from just Turkey alone about EU membership. Initially, and as long as two years ago the overwhelming majority of the Turkish people were in favour of EU membership.

  2. Outline the Key Elements and Critically Assess the Draft Reform Treaty (Constitutional Treaty) of ...

    The Treaty does not change the existing situation but it brings it altogether and clarifies the nature of European Union competence in different policy areas. The European Union institutions European Parliament, Council and Commission are already clearly defined. The major change in this section is that the European Council (made up of Heads of States or government of Member States)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work