The Republic of Portugal (Portuguese: República Portuguesa) is a democratic republic located on the west and southwest parts of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, and is the westernmost country in continental Europe. Portugal is bordered by Spain to the north and east and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south. In addition, Portugal includes several island territories in the Atlantic, such as the Azores (Açores) and Madeira and Porto Santo (including the Savage Islands).
Portugal has witnessed a constant flow of different civilizations during the past 3100 years. Phoenician, Celtic, Carthaginian, Roman, Germanic and Arab cultures have all made an imprint on the country. The naming of Portugal itself reveals most of the country's early history, stemming as it does from the Roman name Portus Cale, a possibly mixed Greek and Latin name meaning "Beautiful Port". During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal was a major economic, political, and cultural power. The Portuguese Empire stretched across the world. After the rise of other colonial powers, Portugal declined.
Modern Portugal has its roots in the revolution that overthrew a dictatorial regime in 1974. Portugal made significant social and economic progress in the subsequent decades, becoming part of the EEC (today's European Union) in 1986.