This chapter focuses on the impact of European Union governance on the Spanish polity. More specifically, the research question that guides the chapter is the following: What consequences and effects have Spain’s membership of the EEC/EU had on the institutional evolution of the Spanish Political System? The chapter deals mainly with the impact on the main political arenas, policy structures as well as on the contents of the more Europeanized public policies. The chapter shows that there has been significant Europeanization of the main Spanish political arenas (legislature, executive, and judiciary) over the last decades. Moreover, the chapter also shows that the EU integration process has introduced a gradual adaptation process and relevant innovations within Spanish public policies, particularly those related to the construction of the European market as well as with the construction of the Economic Union.
The French state is increasingly exposed to new economic, social, and cultural logics. The growing power of local and regional authorities in the public policy process is one of the most striking features of the erosion of the Jacobin myth of the unity and indivisibility of the Republic. The governance paradigm has fundamentally shifted the terms of the debate and brought French analysis further into the mainstream of international and European local and regional studies. The object of this chapter is to understand precisely how the paradigmatic changes of the international territorial politics literature have impacted on the French research agenda on local and regional governments.
Spain has been a firmly pro-integrationist country and, despite some deficits in the coordination machinery for European affairs and a series of developments after 2001 that may have led to an erosion of its position as compared with other member states, Madrid’s capacity to influence decisions in Brussels is not negligible. Its domestic-policy preferences have been stable and the country is traditionally considered as an effective player in some key areas. To better understand how important the EU policy and Europeanization are for Spain and which strategies have been used by it over more than thirty years of negotiations at the supranational level, this chapter is divided into four sections: (a) the strong political basis of membership among citizens and parties, (b) the national EU policy process with attention to the central government and other secondary actors, (c) Spain’s main priorities in Brussels and (d) its policy-shaping ability over time.