Joint Statement on Reinforcing Spanish-Dutch Strategic European Cooperation

Joint statement on reinforcing Spanish-Dutch strategic European cooperation, signed on the 17th of April 2024 during the state visit of the King and Queen of Spain to the Netherlands.

Enlarge image Ministers José Manuel Albares Bueno of Spain en Hanke Bruins Slot of the Netherlands.
Ministers José Manuel Albares Bueno of Spain and Hanke Bruins Slot of the Netherlands.

We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Spain, met on 17 April 2024 during the incoming state visit of Their Majesties King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain. Besides the excellent state of our bilateral relations, we discussed the continuously challenging geopolitical and geoeconomic circumstances we face as member states of the European Union.

We reiterated our firm dedication to the original promise of the European project, namely to ensure peace, stability and prosperity for our citizens, guided by our values and principles, fundamental rights, democracy, and the rule of law. We reaffirmed the key priorities and actions needed for a strong, dynamic, competitive and cohesive Europe, as stated in the EU Council’s Granada Declaration, that was adopted during the Spanish EU presidency in 2023.

In the coming months, a new European parliament will be elected and a new European Commission will be installed. This transition marks a pivotal moment for the direction of the European Union.

In that regard, we wish to underline our dedication to continue working together to set the strategic course of action towards a more resilient, rules-based and competitive European Union.

In the spirit of the Granada Declaration and in view of our longstanding joint efforts to shape the EU debate on Open Strategic Autonomy, we will continue our efforts to ensure the EU is confidently facing the current geopolitical reality as a Union. We believe that the EU must strengthen its role as geopolitical actor. To achieve that we will need to invest more in defense, intensify our global outreach and amplify our voice on the world stage.

We believe that enlargement is a geo-strategic investment in peace, security, stability and prosperity, fostering the values on which the Union is founded. Looking ahead to the prospect of a further enlarged Union, both the EU and future Member States need to be ready. We will continue to offer our support to aspiring members, particularly in the area of rule of law. In parallel, the Union addresses key questions related to our priorities and policies reinforcing our capacity to act.

Building the competitive economy of the future and reinforcing the EU’s economic base is a conditio sine qua non for a strong role in the world. We strongly believe that strengthening the single market is key, whilst ensuring a level playing field and fostering fair competition, grounded in quality and innovation. We are dedicated to future-proofing our economy and promoting a sustainable Union. At the same time, we will unwaveringly advocate for an open economy that fosters new and mutually beneficial partnerships but also stimulates international cooperation and sustainable development across the world.

We are convinced that to strengthen cooperation within the EU, to address these and other pressing issues, heightened collaboration between our nations is essential. Abiding by the principles that have guided our collaboration on Open Strategic Autonomy, through collective efforts, we are confident that we can overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead of us, in pursuit of a more resilient and united European Union.

José Manuel Albares Bueno

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain

Hanke G.J. Bruins Slot

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands