Spanish policy towards Morocco (1986-2002) : the impact of EC/EU membership
Accession to the European Community in 1986 profoundly changed the foreign policy of democratic Spain. Since then the international and regional contexts have changed, new actors have emerged, and the entire formulation of foreign policy has evolved substantially. EC/EU membership has been the framework of this transformation, but it has also often been the very cause of some of the most substantial changes. This thesis analyses the transformation of Spanish foreign policy through a case study of policy towards Morocco, arguably the most complicated bilateral partner for any Spanish democratic government. The thesis uses the concept of Europeanisation, defined as the process of foreign policy change at the national level originated by the adaptation pressures and the new opportunities generated by the European integration process. It focuses on four areas of the policy towards Morocco: fisheries, economic exchanges, immigration and territorial issues. The analysis shows that four themes of Europeanisation have been important, but in an asymmetrical way in each area. Thus, 1) the balance between new instruments and new constraints has been most influential in areas where there is an EC competence, such as fisheries or trade; 2) changes in identity and re-definition of interests have been very relevant in economic and commercial issues and in immigration, but almost non-existent in relation to territorial issues or fisheries; 3) changes in decision-making have been crucial in fisheries, a common policy, but also in immigration, which is still in the hands of member states; and 4) Europeanisation through the domestic context has been witnessed in new policy areas (development co-operation, immigration control) but not in traditional issues (Western Sahara, fisheries). The conclusion explains this variation in the impact in each issue area as the result of several factors: the weight of previous decisions and the historical background, the institutional set-up at European level, the ability of domestic and bureaucratic actors to exploit the new opportunities and the changes in external factors such as the regional context. These findings are helpful both Spanish policy towards Morocco in understanding Spanish policy towards Morocco and in characterising the phenomenon of the Europeanisation of a foreign policy.