Germany and Spain: Bilateral relations

06.10.2023 - Article

Spain is an important bilateral and multilateral partner for Germany, and there is a broad overlap in the convictions and fundamental values underlying the two countries’ foreign policy. Relations between Germany and Spain are close and friendly. As of the end of 2022, around 193,500 Spanish nationals lived in Germany (Federal Statistical Office, Germany). Meanwhile, in the same year, just under 116,000 German nationals were settled in Spain (National Statistics Institute, Spain).

Political dialogue between the two countries is close and founded on mutual trust. Most recently, Spanish Foreign Minister José Albares travelled to Berlin in April 2023, while King Felipe VI carried out a state visit to Germany in October 2022. Alongside high‑level visits, senior officials meet regularly for consultations. At the last intergovernmental consultations in A Coruña in October 2022, they endorsed the German-Spanish Action Plan for greater cooperation between the two governments.

Germany was the leading source of imports to Spain (11%) in the first half of 2023. It was also the second most important recipient of Spanish exports (11%) after France (16%). In the first half of 2023, bilateral trade was worth around 47 billion euro. Spain is an important location for German businesses, over 1800 of whom currently provide over 200,000 jobs there (and indirectly support around half a million jobs). The German Chambers of Commerce Abroad, Germany Trade and Invest, and the German National Tourist Board all have a presence in Spain. In the first half of 2023, 4.9 million German tourists travelled to the country.

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 25 schools in the Schools: Partners for the Future programme, a worldwide network funded by the Federal Foreign Office, including nine German schools abroad that receive financial support and personnel from Germany. The German Academic Exchange Service, the German Archaeological Institute and four of the German political foundations (KAS, FES, FNS, RLS) also have offices in Spain.

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