Portugal: a supporter of further enlargement

Por­tuguese sup­port to the acces­sion of new mem­ber states, in par­tic­u­lar in the cas­es of Ice­land and Croa­t­ia, is clear­ly not a pri­or­i­ty in these dif­fi­cult times. There are sev­er­al rea­sons for this. Of course, the feel­ing that Europe should find the most ade­quate instru­ments to face the cur­rent cri­sis before open­ing its doors again is prob­a­bly the main one. But the fact that we are talk­ing about dis­tant coun­tries may also jus­ti­fy this appar­ent lack of inter­est. In the last avail­able Euro­barom­e­ter, Por­tuguese lev­el of sup­port to the acces­sion of Ice­land and Croa­t­ia was clear­ly below the EU-27 aver­age. One of the few cas­es where the Por­tuguese lev­el of sup­port was greater than the EU-27 aver­age was Turkey (with around 50 per­cent com­pared to 45 per­cent).

Among the gov­ern­ment and the main polit­i­cal par­ties there is an appar­ent con­sen­sus over the fact that no can­di­date should be in a priv­i­leged posi­tion and that the nor­mal pro­ce­dures have to be respect­ed. Del­e­ga­tions of can­di­date coun­tries often pay a vis­it to Por­tuguese insti­tu­tions (not only par­lia­ment and gov­ern­ment, but also civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions) and receive encour­age­ments on their quest.

A very recent state­ment of the Min­is­ter for For­eign Affairs, Luis Ama­do – on the request of Equa­to­r­i­al Guinea to enter the Com­mu­ni­ty of Por­tuguese Lan­guage Coun­tries (CPLP) – seemed to con­firm the offi­cial posi­tion of the Por­tuguese gov­ern­ment. Ama­do stat­ed that it would have to fol­low the same path as Turkey and Croa­t­ia are fol­low­ing, by adopt­ing the nec­es­sary reforms to adapt them­selves to the require­ments imposed by the Euro­pean Union.11News­pa­per “i”, 23 July 2010. But the lack of a spe­cif­ic ref­er­ence to Ice­land at this point in time could also be inter­pret­ed as a turn­ing point vis-à-vis last year’s dec­la­ra­tion when Ama­do stat­ed that there was no short track for Ice­land, being in a sim­i­lar posi­tion as any oth­er can­di­date, such as Croa­t­ia, Ser­bia or Turkey.

    Footnotes

  • 1News­pa­per “i”, 23 July 2010.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained there­in.