Chapter

The Portuguese Permanent Representation in Brussels: The Institutionalization of a Simple System

José M. Magone

in The National Co-ordination of EU Policy

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199248056
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601545 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199248052.003.0007
 The Portuguese Permanent Representation in Brussels: The Institutionalization of a Simple System

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The Portuguese permanent representation is regarded as an important part of the national system for EU policy co-ordination, and the Portuguese administration tends to send its best officials to the mission in Brussels. The permanent representation was created after Portugal became a member of the European Union in 1986, and from the very beginning it was influenced by the missions of other member states, the main models being the permanent representations of France and the UK. The special relationship of Portugal to these countries shaped the organization and operation of the Portuguese permanent representation. The lessons learnt were not so much related to the structure of the permanent representation, which is similar to those of other member states, but more to the skills and the way the members of permanent representation do their jobs, which is related to the experience of those civil servants in the French and British administrations before they were sent to the permanent representation. The different sections of the chapter discuss: the organization of the Portuguese permanent representation, its personnel, its internal functioning and working methods, its role, its capacity to implement ambitions, its success, and the simplicity and efficiency of national EU policy co-ordination structures in Portugal.

Keywords: Brussels; EU policy; European Union; implementation of ambitions; internal functioning; national policy; organization; personnel; policy co-ordination; Portugal; Portuguese administration; Portuguese permanent representation; role; structure; working methods

Chapter.  8812 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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