Spain celebrates its National Day on October 12 to mark the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing in the New World in 1492.This day is widely celebrated throughout the Americas, being known as Columbus Day in the United States and as Día de la Raza in various Latin American countries. Celebration of this anniversary in Spain dates back to 1935, when the first festival was held in Madrid.The day was known as Dia de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain’s connection to the Hispanidad, the international Hispanic community.On November 27, 1981, a royal decree established Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday. However, on October 7, 1987, the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional, and October 12 became one of two national celebrations, along with Constitution Day on December 6.
For a country and a nation that have offered priceless contributions to the world’s historical heritage and cultural patrimony, every National Day is an excellent opportunity to honor their glorious past, while shaping up ambitious strategy and vision for the future. Spain has a lot of reasons to be proud of, but its most enduring contribution to the world is its language, more than 400 million people speaking Spanish today in 22 countries, including 35 million who speak it in the United States.
This year’s National Day celebration and parade held in Madrid, on Sunday, were the first ceremonies of this kind presided over by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia since ascending to the throne following the abdication of King Juan Carlos in June.
The National Day 2014 has found Spain with ambitious challenges and goals ahead regarding the economic growth and recovery and the consolidation of its role played in Europe, in the Mediterranean space and in the world.
Economically, Spain is committed to undertake ambitious labor market reforms and competition-enhancing efforts, as well as banking sector reforms in order to become again a success story and to reach again the “Spanish Miracle” phase and progress registered especially after joining the European Union in 1986.
Politically, Spain is an influent voice in the Mediterranean area, in Europe and in the Euro-Atlantic space. The approach of its foreign policy is based on Spain’s dual European and American identity. While membership to the European Union and the widespread support of the population have always made the construction of a united Europe one of the main pillars of Spain’s foreign policy, the country’s real weigh on the international political scene would be incomplete without the American dimension. Spain has always paid attention to strengthening its historical ties with Latin America, while the trans-atlantic dialogue with the United States has been a constant top priority in Spain’s security policy.
Culturally, Spain has special ties not only with Latin America countries, but also with Romania, a country that has always loved Spain and Spanish people because of the common Latin roots and because Spain’s steady support for Romania’s efforts to join the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
In addition, over 800,000 Romanians make up the largest registered immigrant population in Spain (that’s 16% of the total number of foreign nationals living in the country) bringing their contribution to the economic development of their country of adoption. The Romanian community living in Spain is a strong bond between the two countries that make the bilateral relationship even stronger than ever.
The excellent bilateral relationship and dialogue at all levels and in all fields are underlined in these special pages by the Spanish Ambassador to Bucharest, by the Economic and Commercial Counsellor, by the Director of the Cervantes Institute in Bucharest as well as by the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.