Reluctant European: A Survey of the Literature on
Nicolau Andresen Leitão
“I think that some important facts which explain our approach to the European institutions are not registered or sufficiently clarified in the works which have dealt with this subject” (Magalhães 1981: 35-36).
When Ambassador José Calvet Magalhães wrote these words, over twenty years ago, the bibliography on Portugal and European integration was comparatively underdeveloped in relation to other countries of the European Union. Only the published works of the politician José Gonçalo Corrêa d’Oliveira, the diplomat José Calvet Magalhães, and the economist José da Silva Lopes, provided useful starting points for researchers in this area. Fortunately, this has changed in recent years. The research project,“Portugal and the Unification of Europe”, co-ordinated by António Costa Pinto and Nuno Severiano Teixeira,has provided a bibliography, a guide to archival sources and an oral history project in collaboration with the Archive of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry (AHD-MNE), as well as the publication of monographs and articles. Likewise, the archive-based work by Fernanda Rollo on the Marshall Plan, Pedro Cantinho Pereira on the early years of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), Elsa Santos Alípio on the Free Trade Area (FTA) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) negotiations, Nicolau Andresen-Leitão on the Portuguese reaction to the Common Market (CM) and the first attempt to enlarge the Community, and Sérgio Rodrigues on relations with the CM from 1960 to 1970, have contributed to a healthier panorama. This survey analyses the period open to study through historical archives, from the 1947 Marshall Plan to the 1974 Portuguese Democratic Revolution.
At present, there exist useful introductions to the field. The first survey is the collection of articles on Movimentos de cooperação e integração europeia no pós-guerra e a participação de Portugal nesses movimentos (Post-War Movements Toward European Cooperation and Integration, and Portugal’s Participation in These Movements) to which career diplomats Ruy Teixeira Guerra, António Siqueira Freire and José Calvet de Magalhães,who all played important roles in the relations with Europe from 1948 to 1979, have contributed.1 These diplomats believe that CM membership originates from entry in the OEEC, followed by 1960 EFTA membership, and the 1972 CM trade agreement. In A nova era europeia (The New European Era), José Medeiros Ferreira provides the antithesis and argues that Portugal and European integration should be backdated, as the country had deep political and economic links with the old continent prior to the OEEC.
There are also helpful general surveys (cross-referencing is necessary to check for discrepancies) by Manuel Porto (“Portugal: Twenty Years of Change”), António Barreto (“Portugal: democracy through Europe”), Gérard Bossuat (“Les enjeux des constructions européennes pour la France et le Portugal, 1944-1960”), Nuno Valério (“Portugal e a integração europeia”), António José Telo (“Portugal y la integración europea, 1945-1974”), Nicolau Andresen-Leitão (“Portugal’s European Integration Policy 1947-1972”), and António Costa Pinto and Nuno Severiano Teixeira (“From Atlantic past to European destiny”). Extremely useful are the compilations of the main documents and testimonies of several politicians and diplomats linked to Europe, respectively in Adesão de Portugal às Comunidades Europeias, História e Documentos(Portuguese Adhesion to the European Communities: History and Documents) and in Costa Pinto and Severiano Teixeira, Portugal e a integração europeia: a perspectiva dos actores (Portugal and European Integration: the actors’ perspective). An extensive interview by Álvaro Vasconcelos with Calvet Magalhães, Europeístas e Isolacionistas na Política Externa Portuguesa (Europeanists and Isolationists in Portuguese Foreign Policy), will be published this year.
The literature on political thinking about Portugal and European integration has grown in recent years. The article by Rollo on “Salazar e a construção europeia”(Salazar and the Construction of Europe) and Andresen-Leitão’s dissertation, The unexpected guest: Portugal and European Integration 1956-1963, provide a useful synopsis of Salazar’s thinking on Europe and argue that the dictator was flexible when necessary in his European policy. Other useful sources are the 6 March 1953 circular telegram on the European Political Federation (in the appendix of the volume by Guerra, Freire and Magalhães), Salazar’s collected speeches, and Franco Nogueira’s unreliable biography of the dictator. José Manuel Tavares Castilho’s A ideia de Europa no Marcelismo (1968-1974) (The Idea of Europe under Marcelo Caetano (1968-1974)) provides a full history of the Caetano government’s contradictory relations with Europe (although based on secondary sources and failing to realise that in 1970 Portugal would initially attempt to negotiate CM associate status that would be refused by Brussels).2 Caetano’s bibliography is essential for studying both the Salazar period and his own premiership. Particularly useful is his volume, Minhas memórias de Salazar (My Memories of Salazar), whilst his Ideias e reflexões ou páginas inoportunas (Ideas and Reflections, or Inconvenient Pages) is an essential source for his 1957 speech on European policy at the Second Congress of Portuguese Industry. Further, his AsGrande Opções (The Great Options), provides the illuminating argument that Portugal and her colonies had deeper political, economic, cultural, and even defence ties with their neighbours than with one another.
José Gonçalo Corrêa d’Oliveira, head of European trade policy under Caetano from 1955-1958 and directly in 1958-1969, provides the next most relevant works. On Europe, the most important are Portugal e o Mercado Comum Europeu (Portugal and the European Common Market) and Portugal e o Mercado Comum Europeu, II. In 1963, Corrêa d’Oliveira felt that, “the development of the Portuguese economy is practically inseparable from the export of goods and services” and that it was necessary to view “the European market as irreplaceable.” He added that, “even in a climate of high customs duties and administrative protection, the economic and financial dimensions of the country do not permit an autarkic policy” (Oliveira 1963: 13-15). Portugal had to take part in European trade developments.
In order to understand the contrasts within the regime towards a flexible policy on Europe, the bibliography of the 1961-1969 Foreign Minister, Franco Nogueira, should be consulted, although (as was the case with his biography of Salazar) he is an unreliable witness. The most relevant Nogueira bibliography consists of Um Político Confessa-se, Debate Singular, As crises e os homens (A Politician Confesses, Singular Debate, The Men and the Crises). In relation to the economic dimension of Nogueira’s vision, the bibliography is limited to the 1970 contribution by Alberto Pinheiro Xavier (lecturer at the Lisbon Law Faculty), Portugal e a Integração económica europeia(Portugal and European Economic Integration). As in the case of Nogueira, his analysis should also be regarded with extreme caution.
In order to study the economic background, the works of Pereira de Moura, Silva Lopes, Álvares and Fernandes, António Romão, Costa Lobo and Corkill can be consulted. A leading academic, Francisco Pereira de Moura, wrote the 1960 parliamentary report on the EFTA convention and the landmark 1969 book on the Portuguese economy, Para Onde Vai a Economia Portuguesa? (Where is the Portuguese Economy Going?)A trade official from the 1959 EFTA negotiations onwards, Lopes has written widely and knowledgeably on the subject, with “A economia portuguesa desde 1960” (“The Portuguese Economy from 1960”) providing the best economic account of relations with Europe from 1960 onwards. Pedro Álvares’ and Carlos Roma Fernandes’ Portugal e o Mercado Comum: da EFTA aos acordos de 1972 (Portugal and the Common Market: from EFTA to the 1972 accords), and António Romão’s Portugal face à CEE: uma avaliação global do processo de integração económica (1960-1980/2) (Portugal and the CEE: a general analysis of the process of economic integration (1960-1980/2)),analyse the impact of the CM from 1960 onwards and conclude that Portugal became increasingly dependent on this organisation, to which there was no policy alternative. Marina Costa Lobo further details how the Portuguese economy increasingly converged with Europe in the productive sector, in exports and in diminishing the macroeconomic gap (Lobo 2000: 612). David Corkill provides a good analysis in English of the increased importance of Europe for the Portuguese economy. Thorough coverage of the internal debate on the Portuguese economy and Europe is provided by Castilho, Alípio, Rodrigues and Andresen-Leitão.
The literature on Portugal’s dependence on the European market is extensive and should be consulted on the issue of the absence of alternative policy options and markets, and the need to reach an agreement with either the Free Trade Area (FTA)/EFTA or with the CM. Besides the literature quoted previously, an invaluable resource is provided in the innumerable studies of the Lisbon-based Portuguese Industrial Association (Associação Industrial Portuguesa, AIP) and the Oporto Industrial Association (Associação Industrial Portuense, OIP). Particularly relevant are the speeches and conclusions of the Second AIP Congress of Portuguese Industry (Associação Industrial Portuguesa - AIP 1957), the OIP report on the CM and the FTA (Indústria do Norte 1957), as well as the studies by João Dias Rosas, O movimento economic europeu: suas incidências na economia portuguesa (The European Economic Movement: its effects on the Portuguese economy) and Luís Teixeira Pinto, Portugal e a integração económica europeia (Portugal and European Economic Integration). The argument is later repeated by the AIP and OIP. EFTA entry spurred the AIP to hold a Conference in 1960 on the question of Portugal and European Integration (Associação Industrial Portuguesa - AIP 1960), in which the speeches and conclusions mirror prior analysis.
The fullest account on Portugal and the Marshall Plan is provided byFernanda Rollo. This author argues that the Marshall Plan provoked a significant shift in Salazar’s foreign policy. Hitherto, the Portuguese ruler had favoured an “Atlantic” policy based on the defence of the empire and strong relations with Spain and Brazil. Salazar was suspicious of the post-war world dominated in the west by the United States, and was particularly wary of US policies in Europe. The 1947-1948 financial crises led the government to reverse its policy and to seek Marshall Aid. The most important long-term impact of this reversal was that Portugal was determined to become involved in developments in Europe and avoid isolation in the future.
The early years of Portugal’s membership in the OEEC are analysed by Pedro Cantinho Pereira, in Le Portugal et l’Europe, 1947-1953. Pereira concludes that, in relation to European issues, Portugal’s foreign policy was remarkably stable. Lisbon was interested in cooperation between the European countries, considered that West Germany should quickly be integrated into the Western defensive system and that, similarly, Spain should also be integrated in economic, monetary and defensive terms. Lisbon rejected any form of supranationalism that might lead to European integration, (thereby threatening the Salazar regime), mistrusted, but at the same time accepted, the importance of the United States, recognised the need to face the Soviet threat and, finally, rejected any external interference in Portuguese internal policy. DespiteLisbon’s reservations, Cantinho Pereira rightly considers that throughout his period of research there was a deepening of links between Portugal and Europe.
Contemporary literature on Portugal’s perception and reaction to the creation of the CM is limited. The only clear exception to this timid reaction is the above-mentioned OIP report, which clearly favoured membership. The negative view of the Portuguese government on CM membership is best expressed by Corrêa d’Oliveira. Alípio and Andresen-Leitão also provide a good analysis of the issue.
On the Portuguese position during the failed Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations of 1956-1958, which would lead to the creation of EFTA, the archive-based research of Alípio and Andresen-Leitão should both be read. The first provides a well-written description of the negotiations, while the latter provides a more analytical, if at times overly detailed, account. Alípio points out that the success of Portugal in becoming a founding member of EFTA began with the failed FTA negotiations between the Six and the remaining OEEC members.Alípio judges that Portugal attempted to become a member of the FTA and became a member of EFTA in order to avoid isolation in Europe (repeating the Rollo argument above), reverting to a bilateral policy that would be condemned to failure due to the importance of the combined CM/FTA-EFTA markets (Alípio 2001: 173). Alípio’s second major conclusion accurately considers that Portugal was almost successful within the FTA because it adopted the correct negotiating strategy of seeking to have its case analysed within the main FTA negotiations rather than within the negotiations for developing countries (Alípio 2001: 171).3
On the EFTA negotiations, both the authors quoted above should be read, in particular Andresen-Leitão, as well asthe archive-based article of Richard T. Griffiths and Bjarne Lie “Portugal e a EFTA 1959-1973” (Portugal and EFTA 1959-1973). Griffiths and Lie erroneously believe that during the EFTA negotiations, Portugal had considerable negotiating power and did not face such traumatic negotiations as the Norwegians did in getting the British to accept fish as an industrial product (Griffiths and Lie 1996: 191). Alípio also mistakenly considers that Portuguese negotiators only faced specific difficulties in the 1959 negotiations (Alípio 2001: 171). In fact, as Andresen-Leitão emphasizes, Portugal’s membership was constantly in doubt, as the country sought a specific transition period for its economy. Britain and the Scandinavian countries feared that if this concession was made public it would lead other developing countries (namely Greece and Ireland) to request similar conditions. Only in July 1959 would a solution be found by the British politician Maudling - the concessions to be negotiated with Portugal would remain confidential until the signing of the EFTA Convention. Doubts about Portugal’s membership would remain until the end of the negotiations in November 1959. In the early hours of 6 November, the Portuguese threatened to abandon the negotiations, after considerable opposition from the British and the Danes, unless they obtained acceptance that tomato concentrate be included in the convention (Andresen-Leitão 2004b: 271-272).
Santos Alípio concludes that the option for EFTA membership provoked an important breach in Salazar’s independent foreign policy (Alípio 2001: 171). Rodrigues argues that the Portuguese government did not understand the consequences of membership and that Portugal became a founding member because of Portuguese diplomats who were in favour of Europe and democracy (Rodrigues 2003: 72). Andresen-Leitão disagrees, considering that the Portuguese government was fully conscious of the consequences of EFTA membership and that Portugal became a founding member because the cabinet fully backed the Portuguese negotiating team, which was led not by diplomats but by the politician Corrêa d’Oliveira (Andresen-Leitão 2004b: 42-43).
The bibliography on Portugal’s membership in EFTA is limited. In addition to the works already mentioned, the most useful historical studies are those by Pierre du Bois and Bettina Hurni, EFTA from Yesterday to Tomorrow, and by Jorge Braga de Macedo, “Portugal’s Twenty-five EFTA Years”.
With the exception of Rodrigues and Andresen-Leitão, the bibliography has only skimmed over the reasons for the Portuguese policy option in favour of CM associate membership during the first attempt to enlarge the Community in 1961-1963. Rodrigues argues that the Portuguese attempt to obtain associate membership in the CM was marked by the perplexity of the government, which was incapable of making up its own mind, and whose actions were only a reaction to the proposals of the country’s EFTA partners (Rodrigues 2003: 62). Further on, Rodrigues repeats that the Foreign minister, Franco Nogueira, wanted to limit the government’s European policy options (Rodrigues 2003: 205-207, 218). Andresen-Leitão has reached entirely different conclusions. This author argues that the policy option for attempting to obtain CM associate membership was a conscious government decision based on a government-commissioned report and explained in detail by Corrêa d’Oliveira and Pinto Barbosa to the other EFTA members, and Britain in particular. The main decision-makers would be Salazar and Corrêa d’Oliveira, who was responsible for European trade policy, and Nogueira would not limit but acquiesce to the policy option in favour of associate membership (Andresen-Leitão 2004b: 273-290). Both Rodrigues and Andresen-Leitão agree that, due to opposition within the CM member countries, it was highly improbable that Portugal would have been able to negotiate associate status (Rodrigues 2003: 74-206, Andresen-Leitão 2004b: 292-295).
The literature tends to concentrate on the 1970-1972 negotiations, and, with the exception of Rodrigues, ignores the fact that Portugal would again attempt to negotiate associate membership rather than a trade agreement at that time, and only settled for the latter after opposition from the CM countries. Rodrigues provides the fullest account based on primary sources, but his analysis should be treated with caution as it reveals a fragmentary use of the sources and a scant knowledge of the Portuguese history of the period. Castilho provides a full account based on secondary sources. João Cravinho and Paulo Pitta e Cunha (as well as the general surveys) are also useful. The prevalent view is that, had it not been for EFTA membership, it is doubtful that Portugal would have signed a CM trade agreement in 1972, because of its colonial policy. Most authors concur with Cravinho’s view that, “an agreement with the EEC had to be reached immediately at practically any price” due to the Britain’s importance for Portuguese exports and because, “the agreement conveyed the usual message that the rich and strong must be defended from the poor and weak. Portugal got a rough deal on the export side” (Cravinho 1983: 135). By contrast, Paulo Pitta e Cunha does not see the agreement as unfavourable to Portugal (Cunha 1993: 194-195). In reality, however, conditions were less than favourable, as exceptions to free trade affected about 45 percent of Portuguese exports (Lopes 1996: 277).
The Portuguese government argued that a European policy and a colonial policy were complementary and that one reinforced the other. The main advocate of this view was Corrêa d’Oliveira, who was convinced that to develop its economy and its Empire, Portugal needed to participate in European economic co-operation initiatives. Corrêa d’Oliveira not only considered that the European and imperial options were complementary, but that Europe was crucial for the defence of the empire, as European markets were necessary for “the expansion of the national economy”, the basis for sustaining “the war imposed on us for the defence of the integrity of the nation” (Oliveira 1963: 69-70). No other politician spelled this out quite so clearly, except for Daniel Barbosa, who noted that, “for military reasons, the acceleration of national economic growth [fostered by EFTA] becomes a decisive imperative for the life of the Nation” (Barbosa 1966: 260). Similar views were expressed in 1969 by the AIP president Carlos Alves (in Castilho 2000: 284, 387).
That an active European trade policy was not exempt from political risks was an issue the Salazar government preferred to ignore. Corrêa d’Oliveira accepted that participation in European integration “for other European countries could transcend economic interests and may affect the future of these Nations, if they accept guidelines from higher decision-making centres than their own sovereign bodies” (Oliveira 1963: 5). He failed to recognize, or at least admit, that, during the 1961-1963 negotiations, the Portuguese government opted in favour of CM associate membership, which had political implications. In 1966, Daniel Barbosa admitted publicly that it was “utopian” to ignore the fact that integration could “raise […] delicate problems in the political arena itself”. (Barbosa 1966: 241-242). As noted by Cravinho, “in the past, political aims tended to ignore or underestimate changes exerted by increased integration”, and “now they may tend to take too much for granted in regard to their beneficial effects” (Cravinho 1983: 147).
The colonial faction regarded “any type of closeness with the CM a risk of political contagion and psychological deviation, harmful to the overseas pledge”. (Freire 1981: 22). During a 1970 parliamentary debate on Europe, Franco Nogueira argued that European integration was a threat not only to colonial policy but also to national independence. This inflamed rhetoric was reflected in Xavier’s economic analyses that same year (Xavier 1970: 266-268, 270). Telo considers that the colonial faction was a small minority by the 1970s and had little influence on economic policy-making (Telo 2000: 313). On the internal debate on European and colonial policy options, good accounts are provided by Rodrigues and, in particular, Castilho and Andresen-Leitão. Rodrigues and Andresen-Leitão acknowledge that in fact these were not rival policy options, as the colonial war effort, and therefore colonial policy, was financed through European economic links.
By the late 1960s, there was an increasingly dominant third opinion within governmental and non-governmental circles that Portugal should seek CM membership, thereby forgoing its non-democratic regime and colonial policy. In 1964, Silva Lopes wrote in Análise Social (Social Analysis), Portugal’s leading academic journal, that EEC associate membership was the best policy option (Lopes 1964: 791). The first politician to openly defend this was Daniel Barbosa in 1966, arguing that EFTA should negotiate entry to the CM because the latter was a superior political and economic concept. Barbosa favoured membership despite the fact that the CM countries opposed both the non-democratic nature of the regime and Portugal’s colonial policy, and although the looser structure of EFTA was more than advisable at that time (Barbosa 1966: 241-243). In 1972, Minister of State João Mota Campos came out in favour of democracy and CM membership: “We should […] acknowledge and proclaim our European vocation, reflected in irreversible actions, in particular by accepting the evolution of our Agreement with the European Community, in such a way that some day we can overcome present impediments and occupy the place that we are entitled to have among the people of western Europe.” This meant implementing “clear internal policies and institutions, transforming them by democratic means into institutions truly representative of the Portuguese people” (in Porto 1984: 98). The European option was also supported by technocrats such as the secretary for industry, Rogério Martins (1969-1972), and Sousa Franco, and opposition figures such as Pereira de Moura and Manuel Bello.4 For this internal debate, see Rodrigues and, in particular, Castilho.
All the non-Marxist literature after 1974 agrees that Portugal’s participation in European economic integration demonstrated that this policy was more logical than the colonial option. Cravinho considers that, “in two decades Portugal has moved almost from secular isolationism from West European affairs to deep irreversible insertion in an integrated Europe”. EFTA membership meant that, “in little more than ten years the ruling elite veered from stubborn ignorance of European integration to acceptance of full EEC membership as a desirable medium- to long-term objective” (Cravinho 1983: 132, 147). Braga da Cruz points out that, “emigration and trade began to define, in an independent and disorganized but categorical manner, a tendency towards favouring integration in Europe” (Cruz 1992: 153). Silva Lopes concludes that, “joining EFTA in 1960 and later on the preferential agreement concluded with the EEC had another consequence worthy of great attention: they affirmed the priority, in the economic sphere, of the European option over the overseas option” (Lopes 1996: 237-238). Porto adds that, “these developments partly explain changes in attitudes in the middle of the 1970s towards the geographical role of Portugal” (Porto 1984: 92). And “it became clear”, according to Costa Lobo, “that there was an incompatibility between deepening links with Europe and the continuation of the authoritarian regime” (Lobo 2000: 623).
Andresen-Leitão concludes that Portugal’s post-war European integration policy was similar to that of the other British-led OEEC members that initially rejected the political objectives of the CM, but which for economic reasons - which in the case of Portugal after 1974 were also political reasons - eventually became members. In political terms, the fact that Portugal was a dictatorship until 1974 was not unique, for this negative distinction was shared with neighbouring Spain, which adopted similar policy options; but the colonial policy continued by Portugal up to 1974 was singular in the history of European integration (Andresen-Leitão 2004: 314-315).
At present, the bibliography on Portugal and European integration up to 1974 presents a respectable picture, although much work remains to be done. For example, detailed work on Portugal’s membership of the OEEC/OECD and EFTA is still missing.
2005, ISSN 1645-6432