domingo, 9 de agosto de 2009

PAYS Day 2 - "Insight to Portuguese culture"

The second day of the 14th edition of the Portuguese Atlantic Youth Seminar opened with a contextualization of the Portuguese culture, history and current foreign policy core objectives and current situation. Professor Victor Marques dos Santos (PhD, School of Social and Political Sciences) was this lecture’s speaker.

Assuming that Portugal is 866 years old (signature of the Treaty of Zamora), the country soon found three main geostrategic principles: geographical proximity to North Africa and consequently to Islam; geographical proximity to the Kingdom of Léon and Castilla; and the art of mastering the sea, led by a lack of opportunity to expand North, South and East. This curious external factor “turned compasses” West and gave “New Worlds to the World”. So, the process of colonization and the establishment of an Empire brought social and political integration.

However, the meaning of “Power” has changed through ages. On the 20th century, International organizations such as NATO, United Nations, the European Union, Council of Europe, or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Globalization, stereotyped the West as a secure, democratic region, with stable governments and with ethic and moral values, where freedom prevails. Therefore, the West distinguishes itself from “the rest”.

Nevertheless, “everything is at stake”, once the major objectives and the own State sovereignty were moved to Brussels. The National Interests are modeled according to each organization in order to standardize the goals, so that it won’t interfere with the basic principles.

In this chapter, Portugal is analyzed in the international frame. Portugal’s non-isolation policy is strengthened by the participations in such organizations. So, the internationalization of Portugal’s politics and economics is prepared by an active diplomacy, throughout bilateral and multilateral relations. Nonetheless, Portuguese participation in the international scenario lacks the responsibility to protect, although the country uses as its instruments of foreign policy, diplomacy, negotiation, participation in decision-making and participation in out-of-area missions.

José Miguel Pires

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