Still a “spectator”? Capabilities of the Spanish REPER and Spain’s influence in the Council of the EU
Perarnaud, C. and Arregui, J. (2023). Still a “spectator”? Capabilities of the Spanish REPER and Spain’s influence in the Council of the EU. Revista Española de Ciencia Política, 61, 13-35. Doi: https://doi.org/10.21308/recp.61.01
To what extent is the Spanish Permanent Representation to the EU comparable to other MS in terms of capabilities? What are the indications of Spain’s strengths and weaknesses in EU legislative processes? This article investigates the resources mobilized by Spain as part of the EU policymaking processes in Brussels and its influence in shaping decision outcomes. Drawing on new qualitative and descriptive quantitative data sets, this research compares the human resources of the Spanish Permanent Representation, its internal coordination process, and its external engagement with EU stakeholders, to other member states. The article highlights possible implications of these variations for Spain’s bargaining success in the Council of the EU. The findings reveal the challenges that Spanish negotiators face in exerting influence in the EU decision-making process and show how adequate levels of administrative and human resources are sometimes not sufficient for Spain to leave the group of “spectator” member states in the governance of the EU.