Kingdom of Spain
Historical, cultural, human and political ties traditionally connect Brazil and Spain. From the 1990’s, Spanish investments in Brazil conferred greater dynamism to the bilateral relationship and the economic dimension became the main axle of the relation. Spain is currently the third largest foreign investor in Brazil, with total stock of US$ 59.48 billion (2014 data). In 2016, trade flow was US$ 5.17 billion. Recent high level visits, such as that of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Serra, to Spain (November 2016) and the visit of the President of the Government of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, to Brazil (April 24-25, 2017), has increased even more the already profitable bilateral relations, which only tends to grow, with the firm support of Spain to the Mercosur-European Union Agreement and the leading role assumed by this country in the European Union in the wake of BREXIT.
The signature of Strategic Partnership agreement (2003) propelled political relations, fostering the holding of regular high-level meetings and working groups to deepen bilateral dialogue. In 2012, the Action Plan adopted in 2005 was updated, consolidating initiatives in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship. A mechanism for periodical consultations was also created, which allows permanent assessment of bilateral relations and structures political contacts. Dialogue also benefits from the participation of both countries in the Ibero-American System and in regional fora such as the Latin America and Caribbean– European Union Summits (converted into CELAC–European Union Summits).
Educational cooperation between Brazil and Spain is currently supported by numerous bilateral direct agreements between Brazilian and Spanish universities – through the Erasmus Mundus Program and resulting from the activities of the Tordesillas Group, with engineering and humanities as prominent areas, and an agreement for granting of scholarships between CAPES and the Carolina Foundation – especially in the modalities of visitor postgraduate student programs. Since the beginning of the activities of the Carolina Foundation, in 2001, 1,190 scholarships were awarded to Brazilians and about 30 fellowships for Brazilian professors. There are prospects for launching new joint projects, such as the financing of scholarships for Brazilian students by Spanish companies operating in Brazil, as well as the resumption of the "Science without Borders" program, under which Spain has always been a relevant destination, and the adoption of CELPE-Bras as one of the recognized certificates for revalidation of credits and evaluation of proficiency in Spain by the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE).
Similarities in the levels of scientific, technological and innovation development favor bilateral partnerships in these areas – it was even established an Action Plan in Science and Technology and an agreement on cooperation in nanotechnology. There is potential for exchange of experience, investments and collaboration through co-financing in Industry 4.0 and in nanotechnology, bringing together institutions such as FAPESP, the Center for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI), the State Agency for Research, Development and Innovation (AEI) of the State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation (SEIDI). USP (via the Research Center of its Polytechnic School), REPSOL (via its technology center specialized in energy sustainability, the largest in Spain), the Spain-Brazil Council Foundation (FCEB) and several Brazilian and Spanish universities, all in order to create synergies between scientific, business and academic communities, which would contribute to the convening of the First Brazil-Spain Joint Commission Meeting in S, T & I. A very promising new line of cooperation opens with the Hispano-Brazilian submarine cable project between South America and Europe Ellalink.
Brazil and Spain signed agreements for cooperation in defense (2010) and in defense industry (2012). Spain supplies aircrafts employed by the Brazilian Air Force in Amazon and it is modernizing Brazilian airplanes. An artillery simulator produced in Spain was acquired by the Brazilian Army. Interchange for military officials training is also being performed.
Since 2012, the Embassy of Brazil in Madrid has a Police Attaché, which has facilitated cooperation in combating transnational crimes – particularly the trafficking of human beings and of drugs – as well as the fulfillment of judicial cooperation agreements.
There are joint initiatives on technical cooperation between Brazil, Spain and third parties – such as Haiti and Bolivia – for the donation and transportation of food for countries facing emergency situations. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, there was significant increase of Brazilian immigration to Spain. It is estimated that there are currently about 100 thousand Brazilians living in the country. The migratory flow has changed since 2009-2010, due to an increase in the number of Spanish people interested in working in Brazil.
Negotiations concluded in 2012 overcame the issue of unadmitted Brazilians in Spanish airports. Since then, the number of rejected Brazilians has significantly dropped and better conditions for the retained travelers were created.
Brazil is home to the largest number of Cervantes Institutes in the world (eight). There is growing interest in the teaching of Portuguese in Spain: only at Casa do Brasil in Madrid, organization linked to the Brazilian Government, over a thousand students are enrolled annually.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1834 – Spain recognizes the independence of Brazil
1880 – Decade when the official Spanish immigration in large scale begins
1890 – Recognition of the Republic of the United States of Brazil by the Government of Spain
1933 – The Legation of Brazil in Spain is elevated to Embassy status
1936-40 – New wave of Spanish immigration to Brazil
1962 – Inauguration of Casa do Brazil in Madrid, of Colégio Maior Universitário at Complutense University and of the Brazilian Cultural Centre
1988 – Signature of Extradition Treaty between Brazil and Spain
1989 – Signature of Covenant for Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters
1991 – Signature of Social Security Covenant
1996 – Signature of Treaty on Prisoners Transference
2001 – Beginning of operations of the Spanish-Brazilian Cultural Foundation, aimed at divulging and promoting Brazilian culture in Spain
2003 – Signature of the “Strategic Partnership Plan” between Brazil and Spain, during the Ibero-American Summit in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, Bolivia
2005 – Signature of the “Brasilia Declaration on the Consolidation of the Strategic Partnership Plan”, on the occasion of the visit of the President of the Government of Spain to Brazil
2007 – Signature of Reciprocal Agreement on Driver's License Recognition and Exchange
2010 – Signature of Cooperation Agreement in the context of Defense
2011 – Beginning of scholarship program for Prouni students at the University of Salamanca, undergraduate courses
2012 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo, visits Brazil and is hosted, in Brasília, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (May 16-19)
2012 – Arrival in Spain of the first students of the Science Without Borders Program
2012 – President Dilma Rousseff visits Madrid when she meets with the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, and King Juan Carlos I (November 19) [Signature of Memorandum of Understanding in Nanotechnology Cooperation]
2014 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, pays a working visit to Spain and is received by the President of the Government of Spain, Mariano Rajoy (March 17-18) [Joint Statement]
2015 – The Vice-President Michel Temer attends the business seminar: "Brazil-Spain: Towards a New Business Alliance", in Madrid (April 22)