Focus on the EU's digital future

Spain's Prime Minister in Berlin Focus on the EU's digital future

The EU’s digital agenda was one of the points discussed with a view to the future, reported Chancellor Angela Merkel, when she met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Berlin. It was his inaugural visit following his re-election as head of the Spanish government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Spnaish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the Federal Chancellery.

Mariano Rajoy and Angela Merkel agree that Spain and Germany want to make the digital agenda a priority within the EU

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

The German and Spanish economies are closely interconnected, stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Germany is "Spain’s number two trading partner, and number one in terms of imports". The German government is delighted that "after some very very difficult years, a large number of new jobs have been created and the economy is growing again". Spain has turned the corner and is on track, she said.

Angela Merkel pointed to Spain’s 30-year membership of the European Union. She had discussed cooperation within the European Union "very frankly" with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, she reported. They aim to make the future of the EU a priority, which means, above all, forging ahead with the digital agenda. Angela Merkel underlined Spain’s role as a pioneer of broadband technology, and added that Europe must put in place a digital single market.

Importance of migration partnerships

The two leaders also discussed refugee movements. Spain has a great deal of experience in this area, said Angela Merkel, in particular with African states. Both politicians agreed that Europe must enter into migration partnerships with the pertinent countries.

At the close of the press conference, the Chancellor stressed the common ground in the ambitions, the visions and the strong commitment of both countries to work for the economic development of the EU. Germany and Spain will also be viewing steps to control migration as a priority. Hard work is needed here.

Economic relations
In the first six months of this year, bilateral trade between Germany and Spain was worth 34.8 billion euros, 6.3 per cent more than in the same period in 2015. During this period, Germany’s exports to Spain were worth 20.8 billion euros (up 7.1 per cent on the 2015 figure), while Spain exported 14 billion euros worth of goods to Germany – an increase of 5.5 per cent over the previous year.
In 2015, cars and car parts, machinery, chemical products and electric and electronic goods accounted for most of Germany’s exports to Spain. The spending of German tourists in Spain goes a long way towards rectifying the bilateral trade deficit. This is reflected in the balance of trade in services.