Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Spain)

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Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Secretario de Estado de Asuntos Exteriores
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg
Coat of Arms used by the Government
Logotipo de la Secretaría de Estado de Asuntos Exteriores.png
Fernando Martín Valenzuela 2019.jpg
Incumbent
Fernando Martín Valenzuela Marzo

since June 18, 2018
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation
Secretariat of State for Foreign Affairs
StyleThe Most Excellent (formal)
Mr. Secretary of State (informal)
AbbreviationSEAEX
Reports toForeign Minister
NominatorForeign Minister
AppointerThe King
FormationApril 27, 1979
First holderCarlos Robles Piquer
Websiteexteriores.gob.es

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (SEAEX) is a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Government of Spain. Although it has the same rank as the other Secretaries of State of the Ministry, it is considered the second-in-command.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs is responsible for the planning and execution of the foreign policy of the Government in the global aspects and in some geographical and thematic areas.

Specifically, it's responsible for the coordination and following of the Spanish participation in the Common Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union, for the foreign policy regarding the United Nations and international organizations and the establishment of economic relations with other nations. Furthermore, the SEAEX is in charge of international issues like terrorism, securiy, construction of and maintainment of peace, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and human rights.

Most of the European Union and rest of Europe competences are assumed by the Secretary of State for the European Union, with the exception of those for Eastern Europe. The SEAEX is also responsible for the foreign policy regarding the Maghreb, Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, North America, Asia and the Pacific.[1]

History[edit]

The Secretariat of State for Foreign Affairs was created in 1979 as a body of «general competence» destinated to help the Foreign Minister in his duties.[2] This body was suppressed in 1982[3] and its competences were re-assumed by the Minister.

In 1985, the department was reactivated with the level of General Secretariat and was called General Secretariat for Foreign Policy and the Secretary General had the rank of Under Secretary.[4] In 1996, with the change of government, the General Secretariat was subordinated to a new Secretariat of State called Secretariat of State for Foreign Policy and for the European Union, assuming the coordinations competences of the General Secretariat and the competences of the Secretariat of State for the European Union. This was reverted again in 2000 when the secretariat of state was split in two.[5]

In 2004, the new government gave the competencies over Ibero-America to this Secretariat of State that before belonged to the Secretariat of State for International Cooperation but in 2008 this competences were assumed by a new Secretariat of State for Ibero-America and were re-assumed again in the very late 2010 under the name of Secretariat of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs.[6]

With the Rajoy government, the Secretariat of State established its current structure.

Names[edit]

  • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1979-1982).
  • Competences assumed by the Minister between 1982 and 1985.
  • General Secretariat for Foreign Policy (1985-1996).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign Policy and for the European Union (1996-2000).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (2000-2004).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Ibero-America (2004-2008).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (2008-2010).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs. (2010-2011).
  • Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (2011-present)

Structure[edit]

The Secretariat of State is composed of six departments, all of them run by a Director-General:[1]

  • The Directorate-General for Foreign Policy and Security.
    It's the department that implements the directives of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the functions of assisting the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation in the formulation and execution of foreign policy in its global approaches and objectives, and, especially, in the coordination of Spanish foreign policy with regard to the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union under the guidance of the European Council and of the decisions adopted by Foreign Affairs Council.
  • The Directorate-General for the United Nations and Human Rights.
    It's responsible for the participation of Spain in all the bodies of the United Nations, of establish the position of Spain regarding international community issues, the participation of Spain in the international organizations about matter of its competences and specifficaly in climate change and environment organizations and the promotion of human rights in the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the participation in this kind of organizations.
  • The Directorate-General for the Maghreb, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
    It's the department in charge of the proposal and execution of the foreign policy of Spain in its corresponding geographical area, the promotion of bilateral relations with the countries it encompasses and the follow-up of the initiatives and multilateral forums of the geographic area of its competence.
  • The Directorate-General for Africa.
    It's the department in charge of the proposal and execution of the foreign policy of Spain in the African continent, the promotion of bilateral relations with the countries it encompasses and the follow-up of the initiatives and multilateral forums of the geographic area of its competence.
  • The Directorate-General for North America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Pacific.
    It's the department in charge of the proposal and execution of the foreign policy of Spain in its corresponding geographical area, the promotion of bilateral relations with the countries it encompasses, the follow-up of the initiatives and multilateral forums of the geographic area of its competence and the impulse to the Foundations Council Spain-United States, Spain-China, Spain-Japan, Spain-India and Spain-Australia.
  • The Directorate-General for International Economic Relations.
    It's a department of the Secretariat of Stare responsible for the proposal and execution of the foreign policy of Spain in the field of international economic relations of a bilateral and multilateral nature, the institutional representation of Spain before the integration systems and other organizations, including the OECD, the proposal and execution of the foreign policy of Spain in the field of international relations in the field of air, maritime, terrestrial cooperation, and space, oceanic and polar matters and the negotiation and internal processing of international, bilateral and multilateral agreements related to the areas of their responsibility.

List of SEAEX[edit]

No. Image Name Term of Office Ministers serving under Prime Minister
Began Ended Days of Service
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Carlos Robles Piquer 27 April 1979 24 October 1981 911 Marcelino Oreja Aguirre
José Pedro Pérez-Llorca
Adolfo Suárez
Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Gabriel Mañueco de Lecea 6 November 1981 21 October 1982 349 José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Ramón de Miguel y Egea 14 May 1996 6 May 2000 1453 Abel Matutes José María Aznar
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Miquel Nadal Segalá 6 May 2000 20 July 2002 805 Josep Piqué
Ramón Gil-Casares CSIS 2013 (cropped).jpeg Ramón Gil-Casares 20 July 2002 20 April 2004 640 Ana Palacio
Bernardino León (cropped).jpg Bernardino León 20 April 2004 22 April 2008 1463 Miguel Ángel Moratinos José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Ángel Lossada Torres-Quevedo 22 April 2008 27 July 2010 826
Juan Pablo de Laiglesia y González de Peredo 27 July 2010 102 Trinidad Jiménez
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo García 6 November 2010 24 December 2011 413
10º Gonzalo de Benito 2016 (cropped).jpg Gonzalo de Benito Secades 24 December 2011 15 November 2014 1057 José Manuel García-Margallo Mariano Rajoy
11º Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio 15 November 2014 21 January 2017 798
12º Escudo de España (mazonado).svg Ildefonso Castro López 21 January 2017 19 June 2018 514 Alfonso Dastis
13º Fernando Martín Valenzuela Marzo 19 June 2018 Incumbent 217 Josep Borrell Pedro Sánchez

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Royal Decree 1271/2018, of October 11, by which the basic organic structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation is developed". boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  2. ^ "BOE.es - Documento BOE-A-1979-11350". boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  3. ^ "Royal Decree-Law 22/1982, of December 7, on measures of Administrative Reforms". www.boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  4. ^ "Royal Decree 1485/1985, of August 28, which determines the basic organizational structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the autonomous agency of the Department". boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  5. ^ "Royal Decree 1473/2000, of August 4, by which the basic organic structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developed". boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  6. ^ "Royal Decree 1748/2010, of December 23, by which the basic organic structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is developed". boe.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-11-20.