A research paper
from INCIPE

Updated 1999

J. Uxů, F. Oliviť,
A. Liberal, A. FernŠndez,
J. Uxů, S.del Campo,
J. Salgado (coord..)
Estudios sobre Gibraltar
Ministerio de Defensa
e INCIPE, 1996
(reeditado en 1999)

  Download Report .pdf

Research Paper

Introduction by Gibnet.com editors :

Most of the documents stored on this website present the view of the Gibraltar / Spain  "problem"  from the former perspective. Here is a Spanish research paper, published by INCIPE which would seem to be the equivalent of Chatham House in the United Kingdom.

There is a link to the full report which is available in .pdf form in Spanish. It is nearly 300 pages long so here we present our translation of its conclusions. You can also read  The Original

The Institute of International Affairs and Foreign Policy (INCIPE) is a non profit private cultural foundation created by the Spanish Ministry of Culture ( Ministerial Order of 20 of June of 1988).

Founded as the Center of Foreign Policy Studies in 1991 it acquired its present name after joining with INCI (Institute of International Affairs, created in 1979).

The primary object of INCIPE is the investigation and discussion of problems of Spanish foreign policy and international affairs. The Foundation aims to promote a better knowledge of these issues by the general public in Spain, and to defend the national interest of Spain in the world.

INCIPE maintains its independence from factional interests and groups, whilst integrating into its activity contributions of a political origin and from various professionals.

Translation of the report

7.4. Conclusions

Summarising all arguments explored in the preceding discussion that together capture the present position regarding the problem of Gibraltar, both theoretically and practically, the following conclusions are offered.

1) The first inevitable step in resolving the Gibraltar issue as is the case with any problem is to state the terms. These terms, from a Spanish perspective are basically to; recover sovereignty over the territory of Gibraltar by means of negotiations between the two interested governments according to UN resolutions.

With due regard to existing Spanish-British commitments over the disputed territory and the proposals as tabled by Spain, to; satisfy all requirements of both negotiating sides, and to have due regard to the greatest extent possible to the interests, aspirations and legitimate wishes of both the populations affected by the problem in the local areas; the inhabitants of the Rock and of the Campo de Gibraltar

2) By studying the preceding arguments the following is arrived at, and becomes the basic requirements of the ultimate solution.

  • The principal objective for Spain is the recovery of sovereignty over the territory. Everything else is secondary.

  • If this principal objective is not met, be it for periods when it is shared or conditional, the cancer which is the existence of the British colony on Spanish soil will continue to exist and the problem will not have been resolved.

  • The pre-existing Spanish-British commitments are in fact two, the Lisbon agreement of 10th April 1980 and the Brussels agreement of 27th November 1984.

  • The most recent proposals formally presented by Spain to Great Britain by means of negotiating over disputed Gibraltar are two, The Castiella Proposals of 18th May 1966 and the more recently those known as the Moran Proposals of 5th February 1985.
3) Following an examination of vested interests, the following is concluded;

For Spain, apart from the supreme desire to recover sovereignty there are two secondary interests, the elimination of British expansionism in Gibraltar, particularly over the isthmus, and the elimination of illicit activity (smuggling, drugs, financial irregularities etc.)

For Great Britain, the principal interest is not in the retention of sovereignty, but an assured strategic and military presence in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar and in the Mediterranean Sea. Spain should respect and guarantee the continued British strategic military presence in Gibraltar.

For the population of Gibraltar the principal interest is the recognition of its desire to be known as Gibraltarians, neither British nor Spanish, and therefore, on the re-establishment of Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar, the Gibraltar population would enjoy a special status which would guarantee, in accordance with their interests, their political, social, cultural and economic rights and identities etc. Under international law according to the Treaty of Utrecht, the United Kingdom cannot pass sovereignty (of Gibraltar) to anyone but Spain, even if Spain or the UK might wish to the contrary.

Neither is the possibility entertained of self-determination or independence (for Gibraltar). Everything else is perfectly admissible and negotiable.

For the surrounding communities of the Campo de Gibraltar the principal interest lies in the formation of a political authority in the region, with a mandate to represent the inhabitants in their relations with the Gibraltarian community and defend their interests, among which in particular the socio-economic development of the area which is subject to a continued depression.

4) A combination of these basic facts as derived from a study of the Gibraltar problem leads to the formation of a theoretical solution along the following lines.

The solution to the problem can be arrived at according to a new and continuing process of negotiation between the governments of Britain and Spain that should open with a wide-ranging and firm proposal from Spain over all aspects of the problem, with the aim of arriving at the establishment of a new treaty to replace the Treaty of Utrecht currently in force, which would be defined as the terms which would satisfy the aims of the interested parties; the Spanish desire to recover sovereignty over the territory of the present British colony, the interests of Britain in a continuing strategic military presence in the territory with consequent advantages, a new relationship of cooperation between Spain and the UK, the interests of the people of Gibraltar who would bask in a new socio-economic climate specifically formulated of a form of Spanish citizenship, and the interests of the people of the Campo de Gibraltar in elevating their level of socio-economic development and cooperation with the people of Gibraltar

5) The transition between a theoretical solution and a practical one requires a determined political will to take the necessary steps and to take on a series of continuing and coordinated efforts of various types. Without this will in both political and social frameworks and without the desire to make them succeed, Spain will not achieve her objectives in the ultimate solution to the Gibraltar problem.

The necessary efforts are of five fundamental forms; political, economic, socio-cultural, strategic and diplomatic.

In order that the combination of these efforts be efficient, it is imperative that they should be coordinated, and that can only be achieved by ensuring that the direction and coordination of policies over Gibraltar be assigned to a Department of Direction and Coordination (DDC) located within the Cabinet. The implementation of each of the various parts of the combined strategy should be delegated to relevant ministerial departments or regional authorities that should rely on various Executive Organs (EO) relevant to their purpose (see Annex)

In operational aspects, the practical solution to the Gibraltar problem demands reliance with policies and strategies over Gibraltar based on principles of efficiency, which for political purposes could be; initiative, transparency, inclusiveness and good neighbourliness.

The strategy which should underpin such policies over Gibraltar must be based on the following good governance in persuasiveness, continuity, and anticipation.

In order to guarantee anticipation that would eliminate all improvisation, it is necessary to be able to rely on a Plan of Action and Negotiation over Gibraltar that should be overseen by the aforementioned Department of Direction and Coordination (DDC) in the Cabinet.

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