European Union

Portugal

Overview

Flag of Portugal

Political system

Portugal is a semi-presidential republic with a head of government - the prime minister - and a head of state - the president - who has power to appoint the prime minister and other government members. The country is administratively divided into 308 municipalities, subdivided into 3,092 civil parishes. Operationally, the only legally identifiable local administrative units are the municipality and civil parish, and the national government. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Portugal’s economy in 2016 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (24.9 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (19.7 %) and industry (18.5 %).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 75% of Portugal’s exports (Spain 26%, France 13% and Germany 12%), while outside the 5% go to the United States and 3% to Angola.

In terms of imports, 78% come from EU Member States (Spain 33%, Germany 14% and France 7%), while outside the EU 3% come from China and 2% from Russia.

Portugal in the EU

European Parliament

There are 21 members of the European Parliament from Portugal. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Portugal

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Portuguese government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Portuguese presidencies:

Jan-Jun 1992 | Jan-Jun 2000 | Jul-Dec 2007

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Portugal to the European Commission is Carlos Moedas, who is responsible for Research, Science and Innovation.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Commission representation in Portugal

European Economic & Social Committee

Portugal has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

European Committee of the Regions

Portugal has 11 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Portugal also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Portugal's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Portugal contribute and receive?

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of Portugal’s finances with the EU in 2016:

  • Total EU spending in Portugal: € 3.384 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Portuguese gross national income (GNI): 1.87 %
  • Total Portuguese contribution to the EU budget: € 1.598 billion
  • Portuguese contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.88 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Portugal

The money paid into the EU budget by Portugal helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Portugal benefits from EU funding.

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