• Spain


    The social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has won the general election held in Spain on November 2019. Despite winning 32 more seats than the conservative Popular Party (PP), the second runner-up, the PSOE is still far below the majority (176 seats) and will need to seek parliamentary support from other political parties in order to form a new government. Should this fail, Spain could be launched into another election cycle. In fact, the PSOE also won the general election on April 2019, but was unable to reach any governing agreement, resulting in this latest election.

    Support for the conservative PP and the far-right, xenophobic Vox parties have grown exponentially. Another notable election outcome is stark vote fragmentation: up to 16 political parties will be represented in the Spanish parliament and 10 of these, with 42 seats in total, are regional parties.

    Only two days after Spain’s general election, PSOE and the left-wing Podemos party have announced an agreement to form a progressive coalition government. Constitution of a new government is expected end of December 2019 or start of January 2020.

    Since the socialist party came to government in 2018, it has been clear that commitment to greater international leadership has been increasing. But the instable political landscape has undermined firm political and financial determination to promote a feminist approach, environmental sustainability and the defense of human rights and gender equality.

    The High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, established in 2018, and directly dependent on the Government Presidency, has prepared a Progress Voluntary Report, focusing on advancing the adopted “Action Plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda”. This described the most significant actions carried out by the government and the various regional administrations and social actors (FPFE as member of Council for Sustainable development).

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    Policies & funding

    Overall Spanish Official Development Assistance (ODA) is still insufficient. Despite a 13.3% increase compared to 2018, funding levels are still far from reaching the 0,4% of Gross National Income (GNI) commitment, assumed in November 2017 by the Parliament.

    Spain´s masterplan of development cooperation 2018-2021 stresses the importance of mainstreaming crosscutting issues such as human rights, gender equality, cultural diversity and environment, in line with the 2030 Agenda. It also establishes seven strategic goals including health and sexual and reproductive health.

    In July 2019, despite the uncertain political landscape, the interim Council of ministries approved funding allocation for multilateral organizations, such as UNFPA and its different programmes.

    The 2015 strategic partnership agreement with UNFPA, that aims to strengthen and deepen the existing relationship between the Spanish government and this agency, is expected to be renewed in the near future and to focus on humanitarian settings. In 2018 Spanish support to SRH/FP increased by over 40%, amounting to € 4.35 million. This was channelled through core and earmarked support to multilaterals. Core funding to UNFPA has slightly increased up to €500,000, in addition to earmarked programmes. These included the Supplies Programme, SRH in Syria, essential services on GBV and prevention of sexual violence for vulnerable populations, with emphasis on persons with disabilities.

    At a regional level, the Basque Country Government is continuing to support the Joint Programme on Essential Services for GBV and will start to contribute to the We decide programme, as well as to the humanitarian setting in Bosnia focusing in refugees and migrants.

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    Internationally vocal

    In 2018, the Spanish government has been strengthening language on SRH/FP and its own position among likeminded countries in UN processes. Its role in the promotion of SRHR is supported by a vocal All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Population, development and sexual and reproductive health.

    At the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers event in New York, during the UN General Assembly, Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez underlined the country's commitment to the 2030 Agenda. In addition to making statements in support of multilateralism, gender equality, and cooperation, Sánchez outlined the importance of health, including sexual and reproductive health, and education in achieving the sustainable development goals. Sánchez also announced at the UN General Assembly that Spain will provide €150 million (US$169 million) to the Green Climate Fund, €100 million (US$113 million) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for the next replenishment period of 2020 to 2022, and another €100 million (US$113 million) to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals Fund.

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    Key Documents

    Updated January 2020

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