Portugal 2000 : the European way
FOREWORD BY JACQUES DELORS
It is highly significant that it should be a "small country", which joined the Community with the third wave of new members, which is taking on this responsibility at a crucial time for the future of European integration. Yet that is as far as the stereotype goes, for Portugal has a highly original approach to Europe.
A "small country", no doubt, but which is committed to being at the heart of the integration process; At the beginning of the 21st century, it falls to Portugal to take the presidency of the European Union, just as the Community is asking questions about its future. How can there be enlargement without dilution? How can the institutions be reformed to allow a political body aiming to double the number of its members to operate efficiently without losing the substance of the common endeavour started half a century ago?
A "Mediterranean country", but which has traditionally faced the wide-open spaces of the Atlantic; a "cohesion country", but which aims to spearhead research into a new model of society consistent with the European genius. Beyond the presentation of the new presidency, its key players and its programme, Notre Europe felt it would be worth providing some keys to understanding how Europe is viewed in a country where the approach to the issue is highly original.
àlvaro de Vasconcelos, Director of Lisbon's Institute of Strategic and International Studies (IEEI), has agreed to try and accompany all those who would like to see beyond first impressions. I am particularly pleased to thank him for this contribution and present it to Notre Europe's correspondents.