Germany and Spain: Bilateral relations

22.02.2023 - Article

Relations between Germany and Spain are close and friendly. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 187,865 Spaniards were living in Germany at the end of 2021. The Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) reported that 109,556 German nationals were resident in Spain in early 2022.

The two countries enjoy close political relations. Alongside high‑level visits, senior officials meet regularly for consultations. The most recent intergovernmental consultations were held in A Coruña in October 2022 and included the endorsement of the German-Spanish Action Plan.

In the first six months of 2022, Germany was Spain’s second-largest trading partner after France. Spain is an important business location for German enterprises. In 2020, more than 1500 German businesses were active in the country, providing 285,000 jobs, while a further half a million jobs in Spain are indirectly connected to these business operations. Germany currently ranks second among suppliers of imports to Spain after China, and is the second-largest destination after France for exports from the country. Worldwide, Spain ranks twelfth among Germany’s trading partners (bilateral trade is worth 78 billion euro). In 2019, before COVID-19 struck, 11.2 million Germans visited the country, making them the second-largest group of tourists. In 2021, Spain welcomed only 5.2 million German tourists due to the pandemic (2020 figure: 2.4 million).

In October 2022, Spain was Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair and presented developments and trends in its literary and cultural life under the motto “Creatividad Desbordante”. The Goethe-Institut promotes cultural exchange from its offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Spain currently has 24 schools in the Schools: Partners for the Future programme, a worldwide network of schools funded by the Federal Foreign Office, including nine German schools abroad that receive financial support and personnel from Germany. There are also a total of 15 schools with German teaching programmes (FIT schools) and German Language Certificate (DSD) schools. The German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has a Department in Madrid, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has maintained an Information Centre in the city since 2011.

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