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From apprentice to partner: The 1992 Portuguese Council presidency

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Portugal joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1986 and, after a relatively small six-year apprenticeship period, in which the country met the accession terms and started learning the Community policy-making processes, held its first Council’s presidency in 1992. This article analyses broadly the performance of the first Portuguese Council’s presidency, from the point of view of both Portuguese history and the history of the EEC/European Union. It highlights the distinctive features of the Portuguese presidency, and provides an overview of the presidency’s programme and its ensuing results. It also shows how Portugal handled the early years of membership and presidency planning, while running the presidency provided an opportunity to show its European political skills and enhance its state image.
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Keywords: 1992; Council presidency; European Economic Community; Portugal; Portuguese history; small member states

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universidade Nova

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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  • The International Journal of Iberian Studies (IJIS) is the academic journal for scholars from around the world whose research focuses on contemporary Spain and Portugal from a range of disciplinary perspectives. IJIS is interested in history (20th century onwards), government and politics; foreign policy and international relations.
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