General

Spain, France sign historic friendship treaty

Leaders of Spain and France signed a historic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in Barcelona on Thursday.

Spain previously only had such a high-level treaty with Portugal, while France had similar agreements with Germany and Italy.

“This treaty isn’t just reinforcing both countries, but our common project of Europe,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, pointing out that the two nations make up 25% of the EU’s population, 30% of the economy, and are the two most visited nations in the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the agreement will strengthen their “shared visions.”

“We have the same idea of Europe – a Europe confident in its democratic values, rules-based system, a Europe that is sovereign and more armed to fight against threats,” he said.

Outside of the treaty, ministers from both nations signed four other cooperation agreements in agriculture, education, security, and defense.

The leaders also said France and Spain will enhance their collaboration and connections in green energy, electricity, transport, and industry.

Spain, France, and Portugal agreed late last year to build a submarine pipeline to transport green hydrogen from Barcelona to Marseille.

Macron said France and Spain will also begin working together to forge common policies on helping Ukraine and in diplomacy that leads to lasting peace.

Bolstering European industry was another focus, with Macron saying Europe needs to counter US industrial policy that could “translate into Europe’s deindustrialization.”

“We have to accelerate green tech, have a made-in-Europe strategy and simplify and finance strategic corporate investments,” he said, signaling that Spain shares the same vision.

Sanchez added that France and Spain will fight at the European level to reform the EU electricity market and have already submitted similar proposals to Brussels.

The historic step forward in relations came at the 27th bilateral summit between Spain and France.

The fact that the two nations were missing an agreement of this magnitude until now “was an anomaly that has been repaired,” Macron said.

Source: Anadolu Agency