The admission of Spain as a member of the European Union was a long process of 24 years. During this time, our country used all kind of tools at its disposal (diplomatic, ecomomic, political) to avoid the fact that Spain was not a democracy but a dictatorial regime. In this article, one particular way of forcing the European Union to accept Spain's application is examined. The idea was to put pressure on the managers of the main European companies working in Spain, in order to ease the political negotiation with their respective countries. Attention is mainly focused on Dutch and Italian firms (and managers) with interests in Spain. There are few studies addressing this peculiar lobbying of countries directed at specific companies. Ways are shown on how to measure the real impact of these economic pressures. (C) 2014 Asociacion Espanola de Historia Economica. Published by Elsevier Espana, S.L.U. All rights reserved.