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Foreign relations of Portugal are linked with its historical role as a major player in the Age of Discovery and the holder of the now defunct Portuguese Empire. Portugal is a European Union member state and a founding member of NATO. The country could be defined as a committed proponent of European integration and transatlantic relations. Luís Amado is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal.



Historically, the focus of Portuguese diplomacy has been to preserve its independence, vis-à-vis, the danger of annexation by Spain, and the maintenance of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, which officially came into being in 1386, and with the United Kingdom as a successor to England, it is still in place today.

Other goals have also been constant such as the political stability of the Iberian peninsula and the affirmation of Portuguese interests in Europe and the Atlantic (also in the Indian and Pacific Oceans throughout different moments in history).

International organizations

Portugal was a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD (1961), and EFTA (1960); it left the latter in 1986 to join the European Economic Community, which would become the European Union (EU) in 1993. In 1996, it co-founded the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The country is a member state of the United Nations since 1955.

Recently, the primacy of the United States and inter-governmental organizations such as NATO and the United Nations have also been paramount in the affirmation of Portugal abroad.

Portugal has been a significant beneficiary of the EU. It was among the top beneficiaries of the EU-15 between 1995 and 2004 (only behind Spain and Greece in absolut terms, and behind Ireland and Greece in a per capita basis).[1] Portugal is a proponent of European integration and held the presidency of the European Union for the second time during the first half of 2000, and again in the second half of 2007. Portugal used its term to launch a dialogue between the EU and Africa and to begin to take steps to make the European economy dynamic and competitive. In 2002, the euro began to circulate as Portugal's currency. José Sócrates, as Prime Minister of Portugal, presided over the rotative Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the period July-December 2007. [1] In this post, Sócrates and his team focused on the EU-Brazil (1st EU-Brazil summit) and EU-African Union (2007 Africa-EU Summit) relations, as well as in the approval of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Portugal was a founding member of NATO; it is an active member of the alliance by, for example, contributing proportionally large contingents in Balkan peacekeeping forces. Portugal proposed the creation of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) to improve its ties with other Portuguese-speaking countries. Additionally, Portugal has participated, along with Spain, in a series of Ibero-American Summit. Portugal held the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the year 2002. The chairman-in-office was Portuguese Foreign Minister António Martins da Cruz.


Portugal holds claim to the disputed territory of Olivença in the Portuguese-Spanish border.



  • Diplomatic relations were first established in 1925. They were severed in 1945 and were restored on June 24, 1974.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon.[2]
  • Portugal has an embassy in Sofia.[3]
  • In 2007, the two countries signed a police co-operation agreement.[4]







Portuguese links to France have remained very strong and the country is considered one of Portugal's main political partners.





Portugal recognized Kosovo on October 7, 2008.[5][6][7] Kosovo has formally announced its decision to open an embassy in Lisbon.[8]


  • Malta has an embassy in Lisbon and four honorary consulates, in the Algarve, Azores, Lisbon, and Porto).[9]
  • Portugal has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Valletta.[10]




Portugal established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Serbia in October 19, 1917.[13] Relations continued with the successor Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Portuguese recognized the government in exile of this state after the German occupation of 1941.[14] Relations with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which took power in 1945 after World War II, were only established in 1974 after the Portuguese Carnation Revolution.[15] Following the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars, Portugal maintained relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, later reconstituted as Serbia and Montenegro and finally as Serbia after Montenegro declared its independence in July 2006.[16] Portugal has an embassy in Belgrade. Serbia has an embassy in Lisbon.[16]

In April 1999, Portugal participated in the NATO bombing of Serbia from the Aviano air base in Italy.[17] Portugal also provided troops as part of NATO peacekeeping efforts in the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo in 1999.[18] In April 1999, Serbia filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice regarding Portugal's use of force in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[19] As of 2007, Portugal still had about 300 troops in Kosovo.[20]

  • In December 1997, President of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević received Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama to discuss strengthening bilateral relations.[21]
  • In January 2002, Jaime Gama returned to Yugoslavia in his capacity as OSCE Chairman-in-Office. The OSCE was engaged in stabilizing the situation in southern Serbia following the Kosovo War.[22]
  • In November 2003, the President of Serbia and Montenegro, Svetozar Marović, visited Portugal. During this visit, he signed an agreement on the succession of Bilateral Agreements between Yugoslavia and Portugal, extending prior agreements on tourism, business, scientific, and technological co-operation, and co-operation in information.[16]
  • In July 2005, Portuguese Minister of Defense Luís Amado visited Serbia and Montenegro, where he discussed military co-operation with his Serbian counterpart.[23]
  • In May, 2007, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado gave strong support for Serbian ambitions to join the European Union.[24]
  • In July 2007, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica visited Lisbon.[25]
  • In October 2008, Portugal recognized Kosovo's independence from Serbia.[26] (See also Kosovan–Portuguese relations.)
  • In November 2008, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado met with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremić in Belgrade and voiced his support for removing the suspension of a trade agreement between Serbia and the European Union.[27] Also that month, the Serbian Minister of Science and Technological Development met a Portuguese delegation and discussed cooperation in energy efficiency, nanotechnology, and the food industry, with plans to sign a co-operation agreement on science and technology by the end of 2008.[28]
  • In February 2009, Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac met with his Portuguese counterpart Nuno Severiano Teixeira. They signed an agreement on defense cooperation and discussed Serbia's NATO bid.[29][30]
  • In June 2009, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković met with Portuguese parliamentary speaker Jaime Gama, and discussed improvements to bilateral cooperation.[31]

In the January-October 2006 period, bilateral trade between Serbia and Portugal were estimated at US$12.7 million.[16]


Historically, the two states were long-standing enemies, but in recent years, they have enjoyed a much friendlier relationship and in 1986, they entered the European Union together.


Turkey's 161 years of political relations with Portugal date back to the Ottoman period when Vikont de Sexial was appointed as an envoy to Istanbul. Diplomatic relations ceased during World War I and were re-established in the Republican period in 1926. A resident embassy was established in 1957. Portugal has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Lisbon. Both countries are full members of NATO.


  • Portugal recognized Ukraine’s independence in 1991.
  • Portugal has an embassy in Kiev.
  • Ukraine has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon and a consulate in Porto.[32]
  • Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe.
  • There are between 40,000 and 150,000 Ukrainians living in Portugal.[citation needed]

United Kingdom

The relationship dates back to the Middle Ages in 1373 with the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.

Former colonies


Portugal ruled Angola for 400 years,[33] colonizing the territory from 1483 until independence in 1975. Angola's war for independence did not end in a military victory for either side, but was suspended as a result of a coup in Portugal, that replaced the Caetano regime with a Communist junta.

East Timor

East Timor has an embassy in Lisbon whilst Portugal has an embassy in Dili. East Timor was an overseas territory of Portugal for over 400 years. Portugal was a strong advocate of independence for East Timor, which was occupied annexed by neighboring Indonesia between 1975 and 1999, and has committed troops and money to East Timor, in close cooperation with the United Nations, East Timor's Asian neighbors.


Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Portugal has an embassy in Maputo and a Consulate-General in Beira. Mozambique has an embassy in Lisbon.

Rest of world



Armenia is represented in Portugal through its embassy in Rome ,Italy.[34] Portugal is represented in Armenia through its embassy in Moscow, Russia.[35]

One of the most notable Armenians who resided in Portugal was Calouste Gulbenkian. He was a wealthy Armenian businessman and philantropist, who made Lisbon the headquarters for his businesses. He established the international charity, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. He also founded the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon.[36][37]

North Korea

Portugal and North Korea have a good relationship, in part due to the former Portuguese colony of Macau. One of Kim Jong-il's sons, in addition to his North Korean citizenship, holds Portuguese citizenship from the time he lived in Macau. Kim Yong Nam has made statements affirming the good relationship between the two countries, such as the condolences he gave then-President Jorge Sampaio when Francisco da Costa Gomes died [2], and the congratulations he extended to President Aníbal Cavaco Silva after he won the Portuguese elections [3].

United States

Portugal was among the first nations to establish diplomatic ties with the United States. Contributing to the strong ties between the United States and Portugal are the 20,000 Americans living in Portugal and some sizable Portuguese communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. The latest census estimates that 1.3 million individuals living in the United States are of Portuguese ancestry, with a large percentage coming from the Portuguese Autonomous region of the Azores.

See also


  1. ^ Germany and Sweden largest net contributors to EU budget
  2. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Lisbon
  3. ^ Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Portuguese embassy in Sofia
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Comunicado de Imprensa - Kosovo" (in Portuguese). Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeriros. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  6. ^ "Anunciou Luís Amado: Portugal reconhece hoje independência do Kosovo" (in Portuguese). Publico. Lisbon: Publico. 2008-10-07. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  7. ^ "Portugal recognises independent Kosovo" 7 October 2008 Link accessed 07/10/08
  8. ^ "Diplomatic Missions of Kosovo Abroad (Albanian)" Kosovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Link accessed 01/10/09
  9. ^ List of Maltese reprsentations in Portugal
  10. ^ Direction of the Portuguese embassy in Valletta
  11. ^ Portuguese embassy in Bucharest (in Portuguese and Romanian only)
  12. ^ Romanina embassy in Lisbon
  13. ^ Gerhard Schulz (1972). Revolutions and peace treaties, 1917-1920. Methuen. p. 35. 
  14. ^ Ahmet Đonlagić, Žarko Atanacković, Dušan Plenča (1967). Yugoslavia in the Second World War. Međunarodna štampa--Interpress. p. 41. 
  15. ^ Lester A. Sobel, Christ Hunt (1976). Portuguese revolution, 1974-76. Facts on File. p. 76. ISBN 0871962233. 
  16. ^ a b c d "BILATERAL POLITICAL RELATIONS". Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  17. ^ "Operação "Allied Force "" (in Portuguese). Caleida. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  18. ^ "NATO-member Portugal wants to withdraw troops from Kosovo". International Action Center (New York). Oct. 24, 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  20. ^ "FACTBOX-NATO's Kosovo peace force". Reuters. 24 Sep 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  21. ^ "PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC RECEIVES PORTUGUESE FOREIGN MINISTER". Hellenic Resources Network. 1997-12-23. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  22. ^ "OSCE Chairman-in-Office visits Belgrade and Podgorica". OSCE. 18 February 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  23. ^ "Serbia-Montenegro, Portugal to promote military cooperation". Xinhua News Agency. July 25, 2005. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  24. ^ "Portugal pledges support for Serbia's EU ambitions". People's Daily Online. May 18, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  25. ^ "Kostunica On Visit To Lisbon, Berlin". eYugoslavia. Jul 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  26. ^ "Portugal reconhece hoje independência do Kosovo". PÚBLICO Comunicação Social SA. 07.10.2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  27. ^ "Portugal favors unfreezing of trade deal". B92 Radio (Serbia). 25 November 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  28. ^ "Serbia is Strengthening its Cooperation Links in S&T". European Community's Programme for International Cooperation. Nov 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  29. ^ "Diplomatic Diary". SE Times. 17/02/2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  30. ^ "Serbia, Portugal in defense cooperation". B92 Radio (Serbia). 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  31. ^ "Serbia, Portugal must improve bilateral cooperation". Government of Serbia. June 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  32. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Lisbon (in Portuguese and Ukrainian only)
  33. ^ Alker, Hayward R.; Ted Robert Gurr, Kumar Rupesinghe (2001). Journeys Through Conflict: Narratives and Lessons. pp. 204. 
  34. ^ Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of Armenians embassies around the world
  35. ^ "Armenians embassies around the world". Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  36. ^ "Calouste Gulbenkian Dies at 86. One of the Richest Men in the World. Oil Financier, Art Collector Lived in Obscurity, Drove in Rented Automobile.". New York Times. July 21, 1955. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  37. ^ "Solid Gold Scrooge". Time magazine. July 23, 1958.,9171,810402,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 

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