The Europeanisation of foreign policy: An assessment of the EU impact on Portugal’s post-colonial relations in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Series Details Vol.17 (2013), No.1
Publication Date 2013
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Within the growing literature on the Europeanisation of national foreign policies of European Union (EU) member states, the case of Portugal has been almost absent. Yet despite its small size and intermediate level of development, Portugal has had relatively extensive international relations rooted in its long and rich national history.

This article explores the impact of EU membership on Portuguese foreign policy by focusing attention on relations with Mozambique. Mozambique is one of Portugal’s largest former colonies in Sub-Saharan Africa, a sub-region where the EU has had long-lasting relations. Based on original fieldwork, the findings of this longitudinal assessment point to significant national adaptation, but also highlight Lisbon’s important efforts to project its priorities at the EU level and preserve some freedom of manoeuvre.

This study adds to the literature on Portuguese foreign policy and corroborates the usefulness of the Europeanisation concept for exploring the European dynamics that influence national foreign policies. The results may also prove illuminating for other studies on smaller EU member states and Europe-Africa relations.

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