Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain


Address: MAEC / Sede Palacio de Santa Cruz: Plaza de la Provincia, 1, 28012 Madrid, Spain

Tel.: +34 91 379 97 00


The Minister

José Manuel García Margallo

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation


José Manuel García Margallo graduated from Deusto University in Bilbao, Spain in 1965 with a Degree in Law and Economy. He also gained a Master of Laws at Harvard Law School between 1972 and 1973, and a doctor of Law from Miguel Hernández University in Elche, Spain in 2002.

The Minster’s professional experience is as follows:
- Professor, School of Law, San Sebastián (1970).
- Head of Studies and Programming, Technical Secretariat-General of the Finance Ministry (1974).
- Member of Parliament (1977-1979, 1979-1982, 1986-1989, 1989-1993, 1993-1994).
- Director-General for Community Development, Ministry of Culture (1977-1979).
- Chairman of the Petitions Committee, Congress of Deputies (1979-1982).
- Secretary-General of the Centrist Parliamentary Group (1981-1982).
- Executive Secretary and Training Secretary of the UCD party (1981).
- Rapporteur, Central Economic Administrative Tribunal (1982-1986).
- Professor, Master in the European Communities, Polytechnic University of Madrid (1982-1989).
- Secretary of International Relations for the Christian Democrats (1983-1989).
- Professor of Community Taxation, Instituto de Empresa Business School of Madrid (1985-1986).
- Economy and Taxation Spokesman of the PDP (1986-1989).
- Economy and Taxation Spokesman of the Popular Group of the Congress of Deputies (1989-1994).
- Member of the European Parliament (1994-2011).
- Deputy Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (1994-1999).
- Chairman of the Intergroup on Financial Services (1994-1999).
- Deputy Chairman of the Delegation for Central America and Cuba (1994-2004).
- Deputy Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (1999-2011).
- Member of the Delegation in the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (1999-2004).
- Member of the Delegation to the EU-Mexico Joint Parliamentary Committee (1999-2004).
- Member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (2004-2009).
- Chief of the EU Election Observation Mission in Togo (2010).

José Manuel García Margallo has served as the chief of the Parliamentary Delegation for Election Observation in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. He has also served as member of the Parliamentary Delegation for Election Observation in Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. Additionally, García Margallo was a member of Parliamentary Delegations in China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Egypt, Namibia, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

The minister has received two honours; the Grand Cross for Civil Merit in 1982 and the Order of Constitutional Merit in 1983.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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.

Spanish diplomacy, led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, traces its origins back more than five centuries, and has undergone many transformations over the course of history.

Diplomatic practice consists in the management of the political, economic, trade and cultural relations, and the protection of the interests, in the broadest sense, of the State that the Embassy represents. Consular practice focuses on Spanish citizens residing or travelling abroad, although it also includes important duties involving information and defending Spanish companies, among many others. Nowadays, diplomatic officers are responsible for all these duties.

The Ministry of State changed its name to Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the Spanish Civil War. During Spain’s transition to democracy, beginning in the 1970s, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a fundamental institution, because it conveyed to the entire world the political changes wrought by Spanish society; managed Spain’s entry into the European Community; and promoted Spain’s relations with Ibero-America and other priority regions for Spanish foreign policy.

The latest change took place in 2004, when it changed its name to “Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation”, in order to underline Spain’s role as a country committed to assisting the most underprivileged peoples through development cooperation.