Reinaldo Saraiva Hermenegildo, As Presidências Portuguesas da União Europeia, Fronteira da Caos, Porto, 2017.
The book of the Portuguese European Council Presidencies, developed within the PhD thesis in international relations, aims to describe, compare and explain the role, objectives, and the internal and external political priorities of Portugal during its three terms of Union presidency: 1992, 2000 and 2007.
We employed an analysis based on the Theories of European Integration to examine the evolution and importance of Presidencies to State-Members. Within this analysis we adopted a conceptual model stemming from a rationalist and sociological perspective in order to understand the behaviour and perfomance of States when in-office.
Within this framework we seek to explain the institutional development of the Presidency, its role and duties throughout the process of European integration, the way in which, through office, states influence the European agenda, how states handle certain policies and/or portfolios and inherently defend their national interest.
We describe and compare the three Portuguese Council Presidencies at an empirical level and analyse them according to the adopted theoretical framework. In this way, we intend to explain the reasoning behind Portugal´s definition of a particular type of political priorities for each of its Presidencies. We also explain the strategies developed for the successful pursuit of these priorities, as well as the importance to both the country and the European Union.
Each of the referred Presidencies offer specific and relevant data to supplement the support of our thesis. They also contribute to the central argument: explaining Portugal´s role during its three presidential terms and the consequent relevance to national foreign policy, as well as the process of European integration.