Foreign Relations and Military

Foreign relations have always been essential to Portugal. The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, an alliance dating from 1294, was retained throughout its history, making it the oldest alliance in force in the world. This English–Portuguese alliance was renewed in 1386 with the Treaty of Windsor. The treaty established a pact of mutual support between the countries. This alliance was used in the successive expulsion of the Spanish kings and break England's isolation from continental Europe during Napoleon's era. The alliance is kept through NATO, a military organisation in which both countries are founders along with other 10 countries including the United States of America. Beyond the European Union, the country has established a community with its former colonies, the CPLP, and today has very close and prosperous relations with all of them, in particular with with Cape Verde and East Timor owing to its historical ties with them. Furthermore, Portugal has a friendship alliance and a dual citizenship treaty with Brazil and strong ties with China, due to Macau, a meeting-point of both nations. The new government has also prioritized relations with neighbouring Spain.

Portugal considers Olivença (Olivenza in Spanish, Administrated by Spain) Portuguese territory de jure, based on agreements of both nations in the Vienna Treaty of 1815 , but there are not strong diplomatic actions to take it back. Yet, this issue has been discussed at the Portuguese Parliament as recently as 2004.

The Portuguese Armed Forces are divided into three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force. In the 20th century, Portugal had only two major military interventions, the first one in the 1st World War and the other between 1961 and 1974 in the former colonial territories of Africa. Portugal was involved in several peacekeeping missions abroad, namely in East Timor, Bosnia, and Kosovo. The government of Durão Barroso (the current President of European Union) by its Minister of Defense attained new submarines and other equipment, professionalized the Armed Forces and, since 2003, military service became non-obligatory.