Photo: Foreign Ministry
Eduardo González. 29/05/2017
The need to increase bilateral cooperation in the field of security, emphasized by the mass attacks perpetrated halfway through the month, has translated in Spain into the signing of five bilateral agreements and a multilateral agreement since July 2015, which will soon be joined by other memorandums of understanding with Israel and India.
At the moment, several agreements with different countries of strategic interest for Spain are being negotiated. The most imminent is the Memorandum of Understanding between Spain and India to be signed on 31 May during the official visit to Spain of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
The Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, will be in charge of the signing, according to information provided to The Diplomat by Spain’s Ambassador on Special Mission for Cybersecurity, Ricardo Mor Solá. Besides, Spain and Israel held, at the beginning of the year, several meetings with Israeli organizations and authorities for the establishment of a cyberdialogue between both countries.
The signing of these bilateral cooperation agreements in the field of security of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) derives from the Cybersecurity National Strategy of 2013, which gave the Foreign Ministry the responsibility of “favouring the conclusion of non-normative agreements in international organizations and with our partners and allies, to coordinate the fight against cyberthreats”.
Narendra Modi will sign a Memorandum of Understanding during his imminent official visit to Spain
The actions established by the Strategy are included in the Cybersecurity National Plan of 2014, which, in turn, is developed in the Plan Derived from the Cybersecurity National Plan International Cooperation and European Union, of July 2015.
Six agreements have been signed since then, all of them under the leadership of Ricardo Mor, who has been holding the position since April 2015 and who will be in charge of the Spanish Embassy in Niger as of summer, according to The Diplomat.
In the multilateral field, Spain and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed on 17 November 2015 in Washington. Besides, Spain maintains several similar agreements with Ibero-American countries: the Memorandum of Understanding Spain-Peru, singed on 8 July 2015 in Madrid with President Ollanta Humala; the Memorandum of Understanding Spain-Paraguay, signed on 27 November 2015 in Asunción by the then Foreign Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo; and the Memorandum of Understanding Spain-Argentina, signed on 23 February in Madrid with President Mauricio Macri.
Besides, other agreements are being negotiated with Ibero-American countries as a consequence of the Special Communiqué on cybersecurity cooperation, approved on 29 October 2016, at Spain’s proposal, by the XXV Ibero-American Summit held in Cartagena.
In the bilateral field, Spain has also signed two agreements on cybersecurity in the Maghreb: the Declaration of Intent Spain-Morocco, signed in Madrid on 27 October 2015, which includes both bilateral actions and in the Maghreb and the Arab League; and the Declaration of Intent between Spain and Tunisia, signed on 11 April by Dastis, which includes the joint work in international and regional organizations, and with common partners and allies.