Spain has been on the Europe train for more than two decades. We climbed aboard on 1 January 1986 thanks to the adherence of our country to the European Union. Since then, we have received significant economic aid through the different European Funds (Cohesion Fund and ERDF Regional Development Fund, mainly) to promote economic, social and territorial development. The funds received have allowed construction of infrastructures that are vital to the development of Spain, in compliance with one of the EU objectives: to reduce differences between the levels of development in the different regions. We have achieved it. Our per capita income is the average for Europe.
The funds have been used to incorporate community priorities in favour of sustainable development, strengthening the growth, competitiveness and employment, in addition to protecting and improving the quality of the environment. Belonging to Europe has meant an improvement in the quality of life and well-being of citizens and has brought modernity to our country: the expansion of ports, the construction of the main motorways, the AVE high-speed trains, water treatment plants… have all been put in place using EU funds. Indeed, 90 per cent of the investment that Spain receives from all over the world comes from Europe. Two decades later, we can only be grateful for the benefits obtained since we became part of the EU.