Portugal is the oldest nation state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times.
After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the Estado Novo authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Carnation Revolution (1974), ending the Portuguese Colonial War. Shortly after, independence was granted to almost all its overseas territories.
Portugal has left a profound cultural, architectural and linguistic influence across the globe, with a legacy of around 250 million Portuguese speakers, and many Portuguese-based creoles. It is a developed country with an advanced economy and high living standards. Additionally, it is highly placed in rankings of moral freedom (2nd), peacefulness (3rd), democracy (7th), press freedom (10th), stability (15th), social progress (18th), and prosperity (26th). A member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Schengen Area and the Council of Europe (CoE), Portugal was also one of the founding members of NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries


Official Portuguese Government website   Official Parliament website



On the occasion of the political endorsement of the next the 18-month programme of the Council, prepared by the future German, Portuguese and Slovenian Presidencies and the High Representative, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Trio partners declared:

Back in 2007, the first EU trio presidency was formed. Today, in 2020, in the middle of the Corona crisis, we would have had to invent it. We have developed a common programme for the next 18 months and we will need a long breath for the way ahead: together, we have to overcome the Corona crisis. At the same time, we will work towards a more social, sustainable and democratic Europe. Especially in these times of crisis, Europe needs to stand to its values and strengthen the rule of law in all EU member states. We must also find a solidary response in the area of migration and pursue the fight against climate change.

Ana Paula ZACARIAS, Portuguese State Secretary for European Affairs: We have built a true “Trio Spirit”. The Trio programme reflects our common vision on what the European Union’s priorities should be in the coming 18 months. It includes European solutions to improve the resilience of our economies in face of the unprecedented economic crisis we are living because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trio programme pays special attention to the social dimension of the crisis and to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The European Social Economy Summit in May 2021 is intended to give political impetus to this objective.

Gašper DOVŽAN, Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Slovenia is delighted to be on its way to hold the EU Presidency for the second time, in a fine company of our friends, Germany and Portugal. To get Europe’s societies and economies back to full functioning, we will need to foster a sustainable and inclusive growth, while integrating the green transition and the digital transformation. We also need to improve the resilience of Europe by developing plans for tackling emergencies such as pandemics, global cyber-attacks or migration pressures. Moreover, the Trio will pursue an ambitious neighbourhood policy towards the East and the South.

Presidency of the EU from January to June 2021

Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, Portugal's Presidency of the Council of the European Union faces a major challenge.  The main mission includes reinforcing Europe's resilience and confidence in the European social model, promoting a European Union that is innovative and looks to the future, based on common values of solidarity, convergence and cohesion. Portugal aims to lead a Presidency that will act positively, one that is flexible and able to build bridges and achieve concrete results in economic recovery and lead us out of the crisis. To this end, it has defined five main priorities, in line with the goals of the European Union's Strategic Agenda:

Resilient Europe - In order to have a Europe that stands together and that is ready to deal with crisis situations, the aim is to:
  • Reinforce investment and recover the economy
    - Mitigate the effects of the crisis
    - Implement the new Multiannual Financial Framework and the EU Recovery Fund to deal with the pandemic, known as Next Generation EU 
    - Promote sustainable growth and job creation
    - Recovery based on the European Ecological Pact and digital transition
  • Reinforce solidarity and values
    - Reinforce democracy and the rule of law
    - Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms
    - Protect European citizens
Social Europe - On the road to a stronger social Europe, in the context of the economic recovery, the goals of Portugal’s Presidency are to:
  • Reinforce the European social model
    - Mitigate the effects of unemployment
    - Fight poverty, social exclusion and inequality
  • Strengthen territorial cohesion
    - Hold a Social Summit to debate the social dimension of the regeneration and development of the European economy, as well as the digital and climate transition, and further the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights
Green Europe - A sustainable recovery of the European economy is one of the goals of the Presidency. Thus, to attain a greener Europe, the aims are to:
  • Promote the European Green Deal, making sustainability an integral part of all European Union policies
  • Implement the European Climate Law and laws on the decarbonisation of the EU
  • Promote the European Climate Pact
  • Coordinate the European Union's Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 with the new European Union
  • Forest Strategy
  • Focus on the blue economy and the sustainable use of ocean resources
  • Develop European Union transport and energy strategies that support environmental sustainability
Digital Europe - Speeding up a fair and inclusive digital transition is one of the priorities of Portugal’s Presidency, which aims to:
  • Promote European leadership in the digital economy, in the areas of innovation and regulation
  • Implement digital best practices in public administration, paying particular attention to administrative, fiscal and service simplification
  • Promote a global digital cooperation strategy and develop the Digital Democracy concept
Global Europe - Reinforcing Europe's role in the world, based on openness, effective multilateralism and strengthening international partnerships, is one of the goals of Portugal’s Presidency, whose designated priorities are:
  • Commitment to strengthening globalisation regulation mechanisms, international cooperation and a joint response to humanitarian crises and emergencies
  • Paying particular attention to building closer, more dynamic relations between the EU and Africa
  • Reinforcing strategic relations with India
  • Pursuing strategic relations and an ambitious partnership with the United Kingdom
  • Giving a new impetus to transatlantic relations  


Sintra is a town and municipality in the Greater Lisbon region of Portugal, located on the Portuguese Riviera. The population of the municipality in 2011 was 377,835, in an area of 319.23 square kilometres (123.26 sq mi). Sintra is a major tourist destination in Portugal, famed for its picturesqueness and for its historic palaces and castles.
The area includes the Sintra-Cascais Nature Park through which the Sintra Mountains run. The historic center of the Vila de Sintra is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, gardens, and royal palaces and castles, which resulted in the classification of the town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sintra's landmarks include the mediaeval Castle of the Moors, the romanticist Pena National Palace and the Portuguese Renaissance Sintra National Palace.





Sintra is one of the wealthiest and most expensive municipalities in both Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula as a whole. It is home to one of the largest foreign expat communities along the Portuguese Riviera and consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Portugal