22 Pages

Portugal’s European Integration: The Good Student with a Bad Fiscal Constitution

Portugal’s experience with international economic interdependence, begun under a corporatist regime keen on fostering economic and political integration with African and Asian colonies. This regime constrained private initiative, and the absence of multi-party democracy inhibited political freedom. Due to the lack mutual political responsiveness with major members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), let alone with the Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OECD), the experience was largely ignored. The same is true of membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1960, although it paved the way for a free trade agreement with the European Community (now EU) in 1972.