European Integration into Portugal
Prior to 1974, when democracy was introduced to Portugal, the country was controlled by a fascist dictatorship, which kept Portugal from being able to join the rest of Europe. Also in 1974, the Carnation Revolution opened many new doors for Portugal. In 1981, Portugal signed an agreement that allowed the country to receive the financial aid it needed to modernize the country enough to assimilate into European culture. In 1986, Portugal joined what would later become the European Union. The main goal of the European Union, at the time, was to promote unity between countries in Europe.
Later in 1995, Portugal began to implement the requirements of being a Schengen state. Almost every country within the European Union is a Schengen state. The few that are not have special agreements made with the ones that are. What this means is that citizens of Portugal, and citizens in any of the rest of the Schengen area, are free to go from one country to another without being stopped at the boarder as long as the countries they are moving between are also Schengen members. This also allows Portugal more tourism and more financial stability.
Benefits for Portugal
All of this has benefited Portugal greatly. This has brought the country more foreign trade and more foreign business. With all of the incoming trade also came cultures and social benefits as well. Portugal is now considered one of the mainstream countries in Europe. Many of Portugal’s less appealing aspects have begun to fade into obscurity since the integration began.Portugal has come so far in 2004 that the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Manuel Duro Barroso, was nominated for President of the European Commission. This is a very powerful and very important position. It shows just how much Portugal has actually grown.
Of course the process was not without turbulence. Integrating into Europe brought the people of Portugal fear and losses due to how quickly Portugal was changing. However, over all this has been a positive experience for Portugal bringing them more financial stability and security.