Belgium–Spain relations


Belgium–Spain relations are the bilateral relations between Belgium and Spain. Belgium has an embassy in Madrid and four consulates general in: Madrid, Barcelona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Alicante.[1] Spain has an embassy and a consulate in Brussels.[2][3] The relations between both countries are defined mainly by their membership in the European Union and by being allies in NATO, as well as belonging to numerous international organizations, which makes their relations have ample development in the framework of them.[4]

Belgian–Spanish relations

Belgium

Spain

History


In 1516 Charles V, sovereign of the Netherlands accepted the Crown of Castile and Aragon and agreed to be Carlos I of Spain. The stories of Spain and Flanders came together to maintain a very close relationship over the centuries.

Charles I was born sixteen years earlier in the city of Ghent. In Brussels the Palace of Carlos V was built, today recovered in an important archaeological site. Numerous Spanish merchants had already traveled to Flanders before and had formed in Bruges an important community. In fact 1330 a consulate is created especially for them, and today two hotels refer to those times: Hotel Navarra and Hotel Aragón. The merchants were joined by the soldiers of Carlos I. Many of them stayed and now there are families in Belgium of clear Spanish descent: the Ayala, the Béjar, the Perez, the Manrique ...[5]

Diplomatic relations


Spain and Belgium maintain diplomatic relations from the first moment of Belgian independence in the 19th century. Until the end of I World War, the Spanish representation was in charge of a "Plenipotentiary Minister". From that moment the Marquis of Villalobar was elevated to the rank of Ambassador. Relations between Spain and Belgium, traditionally good, do not present any significant dispute.[6]

In 1960 King Baldwin of Belgium married Fabiola de Mora y Aragón, Spanish, which made between 1960 and 1993 Belgium had a Spanish queen consort.

In legal matters, there has been a disparity of criteria between the two countries: the Belgian justice system has refused on several occasions to deliver ETA members accused of terrorism to the Spanish justice system; an example is the case of Natividad Jaúregui,[7] in which Belgium was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.[8] For against, the Spanish justice refused to extradite to Léon Degrelle, condemned "in absentia" for collaboration with the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.[9]

Diplomatic crisis due to the conflict in Catalonia

In November 2017 the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya Carles Puigdemont appears in Belgium after leaving Spanish territory together with a group of faithful consellers. Puigdemont had been dismissed by the Spanish Government, which had applied the article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, revoking Catalan autonomy, and assuming the control of Catalan autonomy. Spanish justice began the process to extradite the president dismissed for crimes of sedition, having declared the independence of part of Spanish territory. The defenders of Puigdemont defended that justice had been done by giving voice to the people of Catalonia. To these they added the extreme right-wing independence of Flanders, who saw in the Catalan independence process a reflection of their own.[10] The Belgian government refused to officially support Carles Puigdemont on understanding that it was an internal Spanish matter, but by not having tacitly supported the Madrid government it served to initiate a diplomatic crisis with the central government of Spain.[11]

On 14 December the National Court withdrew the euro-order to arrest Puigdemont and the escaped consellers, for which the Belgian justice filed the necessary procedures for his extradition.[12]

Business relations


Within the framework of bilateral investments, Belgium ranks 16th in the ranking of countries by investor position in Spain (Belgium as the last country of investment) with a total investment stock, without taking into account the entities holding foreign securities. (NO ETVE), of €2,668 M in 2013 (0.90% of the total, latest data available) and the 20th position in the list of countries by investment position of Spain abroad, with a stock of total investment (NO ETVE) of €3,674 million in 2013 (1.12% of the total, latest data available).[6]

Embassies


The Embassy of Belgium is located in Madrid, Spain. The Embassy of Spain is located in Brussels, Belgium.

See also


References


  1. http://spain.diplomatie.belgium.be/es/embajada-y-consulados Archived 3 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine Embajada y consulados de Bélgica en España
  2. http://www.exteriores.gob.es/embajadas/bruselas/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx http://www.exteriores.gob.es/embajadas/bruselas/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx
  3. http://www.exteriores.gob.es/consulados/bruselas/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx http://www.exteriores.gob.es/consulados/bruselas/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx
  4. "Bélgica" (PDF).
  5. http://www.flandes.net/descubre-flandes/index/huellas-espanolas/ Huellas españolas
  6. http://www.exteriores.gob.es/documents/fichaspais/belgica_ficha%20pais.pdf Oficina de información Diplomática
  7. http://www.elperiodico.com/es/politica/20171030/belgica-de-antiguo-refugio-para-etarras-a-potencial-destino-de-puigdemont-6390924%7Cpublicación=El Periódico Bélgica, de antiguo refugio para etarras a potencial destino de Puigdemont 30 October 2017
  8. https://elpais.com/politica/2019/07/09/actualidad/1562667171_246449.html
  9. Ctxt http://ctxt.es/es/20171101/Politica/15957/Junqueras-puigdemont-extradicion-belgica-carcel-ctxt-carmen-lamela.htm 1 de noviembre de 2017 La vía belga: historia de un viejo desencuentro judicial, Vicent Galiana
  10. https://www.estrelladigital.es/articulo/espanha/casi-nadie-importa-crisis-belgica/20171110135040334789.html Por qué a casi nadie le importa una crisis con Bélgica 21 de febrero de 2018, Digital, Estrella (es)}}
  11. https://www.elnacional.cat/es/politica/carta-moncloa-embajador-belgica-independencia_203739_102.html El duro mail de la Moncloa al embajador de Bélgica por el apoyo a Catalunya: "Tomamos nota", 21 de febrero de 2018, ElNacional.cat}}
  12. El juez belga cierra el caso de la extradición de Puigdemont y sus consellers cesados http://www.publico.es/politica/juez-belga-cierra-caso-extradicion-puigdemont-y-cuatro-consellers.html 21 de febrero de 2018 es-ES