This paper builds on the Europeanization literature to explore the impact of EU membership on Portuguese foreign policy towards Angola. The analysis is centred on trade issues, focusing on Portugal’s accession negotiations and the reform of the Lomé Convention. Portugal is a small and open economy, with a colonial past in Angola. Trade is one of the most integrated policy areas of the EU, which has long and highly institutionalised relations with Africa. Preliminary results point to great evidence of Europeanization understood as national adaptation to the EU. However, the projection of Portuguese priorities onto the European level also received some support. History, cultural links and the presence of strong national interest groups appear to have limited the EU’s impact on Portuguese preferences. Such findings give support to studies stressing the need to adequately account for domestic conditions, even in highly integrated EU policy areas and for smaller member states.
Foreign Policy Analysis; Europeanisation; European integration; Foreign policy; trade; interest groups
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