After the return of democracy following the death of Franco in 1975, Spain's foreign policy priorities were to break out of the diplomatic isolation of the Franco years and expand diplomatic relations, enter the European Community, and define security relations with the West.
As a member of NATO since 1982, Spain has established itself as a major[clarification needed] participant in multilateral international security activities. Spain's EU membership represents an important part of its foreign policy. Even on many international issues beyond western Europe, Spain prefers to coordinate its efforts with its EU partners through the European political cooperation mechanisms.
With the normalization of diplomatic relations with North Korea in 2001, Spain completed the process of universalizing[clarification needed] its diplomatic relations.
Spain has maintained its special identification with Latin America. Its policy emphasizes the concept of an Iberoamerican community, essentially the renewal of the historically liberal concept of hispanoamericanismo, or Hispanism as it is often referred to in English, which has sought to link the Iberian peninsula with Latin America through language, commerce, history and culture. Spain has been an effective example of transition from dictatorship to democracy for formerly non-democratic Latin American states, as shown in the many trips that Spain's King and Prime Ministers have made to the region