This paper analyses the effect that some political actors’ behaviours had on the image of the European integration process in Spain during General Franco’s dictatorship and its influence on the country’s European policy during the democratic transition and the adhesion to the European Economic Community (hereafter EEC). The EEC’s condemnation of the Spanish political regime and the pro-European stances assumed by the democratic opposition created a strong bond between the ideas of European integration and democratization in the eyes of the Spanish public. After Franco’s death in 1975, joining the EEC was seen as a natural move of the transition to democracy by all political actors and received an overwhelming support from civil society. Consequently, between 1977 and 1985, Spain negotiated its adhesion. Yet, the decision to join the EEC was not just a rational choice in political or economic terms; it was understood as a means to fulfil recognition of the democratization of the country.
Spain, European Movement, Public opinion, Civil society, Democratization
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