The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation plans, directs, implements and assesses Spain’s foreign policy and development cooperation policy, following the Government’s guidelines and applying the principle of unity of external action.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is responsible for planning, directing, implementing and evaluating the State’s foreign policy and international development cooperation policy, with particular attention to policies involving the European Union and Ibero-America, and for coordinating and supervising all the actions carried out by the other Ministries and Public Administrations in those areas. It is also responsible for fostering economic, cultural and scientific relations; participating in the proposal and implementation of policies on migration and aliens; fostering cross-border and inter-territorial cooperation; protecting Spaniards abroad; and preparing, negotiating and processing the international treaties to which Spain is party.
Following the approval of the Royal Decree, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, under the direction of the Minister, is structured into the following higher and management bodies:
State Secretariat for Foreign Affairs
This State Secretariat is directly responsible for designing and implementing foreign policy, as regards its approach and overall objectives, as well as its specification into different geographic and thematic areas. Among other responsibilities, it coordinates and monitors Spain’s participation in the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy; designs and implements foreign policy in relation to the United Nations system; exercises duties relating to international terrorism affairs, international security, disarmament and human rights; and manages contributions to international organizations.
Five Directorates-General report to this State Secretariat:
- Directorate-General for Foreign Policy and Security
- Directorate-General for the United Nations and Human Rights
- Directorate-General for the Maghreb, the Mediterranean and the Near East
- Directorate-General for Africa
- Directorate-General for North America, Asia and the Pacific
State Secretariat for European Affairs
This State Secretariat is responsible for designing and implementing Spain’s policy as regards the European Union. It also coordinates the actions of other Public Administrations in the European Union, and designs and implements Spain’s foreign policy with Europe.
Three Directorates-General, and the State Legal Service before the Court of Justice of the European Union, report to this State Secretariat:
- Directorate-General for Integration and Coordination of General European Union Affairs
- Directorate-General for Coordination of the Internal Market and other European Union Policies
- Directorate-General for Europe
State Secretariat for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean
This State Secretariat is responsible for designing, directing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating foreign policy for Ibero-America, international development cooperation, and the coordination of foreign cultural action. It also prepares and coordinates the Ibero-American Summits and plans and promotes the activities of the Ibero-American Community of Nations; collaborates with and supports the duties of the Ibero-American General Secretariat; and fosters and coordinates the presence of Spain in the Organization of American States (OAS) and in the different multilateral organizations and entities in the sphere of Ibero-America.
Two Directorates-General report to this State Secretariat:
- Directorate-General for Sustainable Development Policy
- Directorate-General for Ibero-America and the Caribbean
This State Secretariat also has two attached institutions: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and Instituto Cervantes.
Under-Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Among other responsibilities, it is responsible for directing and coordinating the Ministry’s common services; preparing, processing, monitoring and depositing the international treaties to which Spain is party; selecting and training civil servants of the Diplomatic Corps and the Translators and Interpreters Corps; designing and implementing Spain’s foreign policy in the areas of aliens; protection of Spaniards abroad; management of emergency and crisis situations affecting Spaniards abroad; and supervising the actions of Spain’s consular posts.
Three management bodies report to the Under-Secretariat:
- Technical Secretariat-General
- Directorate-General for the Foreign Service
- Directorate-General for Spaniards Abroad and for Consular and Migratory Affairs
The following report directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs:
- Directorate-General for International Economic Relations
- Directorate-General for Communication and Diplomatic Information
- Introducer of Ambassadors