Looking back thirty years, one can find images like those seen today on the Spanish-Portuguese border. Crossroads under surveillance, roads shut down… images that only the elderly remember and that will soon be forgotten again.
Thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese from both sides of La Raya – 1,234 kilometres long, and the longest and oldest border in Europe – are living a bad dream since the crossing of merchandise was restricted to curb the spread of COVID-19. The governments of both countries have made it clear that nothing will change in the future, that they will continue to be “always close as neighbours” and “brother countries”.
Long gone are the times when Spain and Portugal were “on rough shores”, turning their backs on each other and looking at each other with mistrust. Today, good neighbours and allies in the European Union, both countries are advancing common projects. This cooperation goes far beyond the politics and economics areas, it is also taking place in all fields: science, agriculture, tourism, medicine – the potential is immense, cooperation that has been boosted by the European Cohesion Policy.
(This feature is the closing chapter of the Series “Iberian Stories of European Cohesion”, #HistoriasIbéricas, a pioneering one-year project of collaboration between EFE and the Portuguese news agency LUSA supported by the European Commission’s Regional Policy Directorate.)