This telegram, dated 17 February 1949, sent from the Portuguese Foreign Ministry to the Portuguese Legation in Dublin, outlines the country’s reservations about the establishment of the Council of Europe.
In this letter dated 21 June 1960, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe invites the Portuguese Parliament to appoint representatives to attend the debates in the Consultative Assembly on the reports by the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation and on economic issues.
Note dated 12 August 1968 for the attention of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe concerning the request for information on the participation of non-member states and the work of the Council of Europe submitted by the Consul-General of Portugal.
In this letter dated 31 March 1970 and sent to the President of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Portuguese Foreign Minister declines the invitation extended to his government to attend a meeting to which Mário Soares would be invited. The Minister emphasises the sovereignty of the Portuguese State and denies the lack of respect for human rights reputed to exist in Portugal.
In this communication dated 17 April 1970, Mário Soares, an opponent of the dictatorship, comments on the report drawn up by a member of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe on human rights in Portugal.
In its recommendation of 28 September 1974, the Parliamentary Assembly maintains its support for the democratic process undertaken in Portugal and recommends that the Committee of Ministers approach the national authorities with a view to ascertaining the activities in which the country might already be able to participate before it becomes a full member of the Council of Europe.
This dispatch from Agence France-Presse, published in the Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir on 4 February 1975, outlines the interview with the Portuguese Ministers Mário Soares and Álvaro Cunhal on the first democratic elections after the overthrow of the Salazar dictatorship.
This document, dated 6 March 1975, reports on the mission to Lisbon undertaken by two officials of the Council of Europe from 17 to 22 February. During this mission, the representatives of the Portuguese Provisional Government were informed of the possibilities for cooperation available to countries which do not belong to the organisation.
Memorandum dated 12 May 1975 from the Director of Legal Affairs at the Council of Europe on the visit to be paid by the Junior Justice Minister and the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Portugal to the ‘Palais des Droits de l'Homme' in Strasbourg.
In this memorandum dated 3 May 1976, with a view to Portugal’s forthcoming accession to the Council of Europe, the Secretariat of the Committee of Minsters sets out the terms and procedure for the accession of a new state.
This chronology, dated 16 September 1975 and drawn up by the Office of the Clerk of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, outlines the major political events that have taken place in Portugal since 25 April.
This chronology, drawn up in August 1976 by the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, sets out the major political events that have taken place in Portugal since 5 May 1976.
In his reply to the Portuguese Foreign Minister, dated 20 August 1976, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe welcomes Portugal’s application for accession, which should take place in September.
In its opinion of 16 September 1976, the Parliamentary Assembly notes that Portugal complies with the terms of accession and declares that it is in favour of the Committee of Ministers inviting Portugal to accede to the Council of Europe.
On 17 September 1976, the Spanish daily newspaper El País informs its readers of the positive opinion on Portugal’s accession to the Council of Europe, delivered the previous day by the organisation’s Consultative Assembly. The article emphasises the determination of Mário Soares, Portuguese Prime Minister, who has thereby successfully completed the first stage of a ‘diplomatic offensive’ which aims to secure Portugal’s accession to the European Economic Community.
In view of the positive opinion adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly on 16 September 1976, the Committee of Ministers resolves, in its resolution of 21 September 1976, to invite Portugal to become a member of the Council of Europe.
On 22 September 1976, in Strasbourg, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, José Medeiros Ferreira, signs the instrument of accession to the Statute of the Council of Europe in the presence of the Secretary General and of the Presidents of the organisation’s Committee of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly.
On 22 September 1976, Portugal becomes the 19th member state of the Council of Europe. Flanked by the Secretary General and the Presidents of the Council of Europe’s institutions, the Mayor of the City of Strasbourg, Pierre Pflimlin, greets the Portuguese Foreign Minister, José Medeiros Ferreira, in front of the Maison de l’Europe.
In this interview, José Medeiros Ferreira, former Portuguese Foreign Minister, outlines the long process leading to Portugal’s accession to the Council of Europe and the reasons why the country was only able to accede in 1976 after democracy was restored.