Political relations between Germany and Portugal are marked by a spirit of trust and characterised by numerous mutual visits and broad agreement on issues relating to European and foreign and security policy. Germany was instrumental in helping to build democratic structures in Portugal after the 1974 Carnation Revolution (overthrow of the Salazar/Caetano regime) and supported Portugal’s accession to the European Community, now the EU, in 1986.
The Treaty of Lisbon Amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community was signed in Lisbon in 2007 under the Portuguese Council Presidency, after being prepared under Germany’s Council Presidency among others. On 22 May 2019, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva reached agreement on a German-Portuguese Action Plan, on the basis of which common positions and projects are being developed. A German-Portuguese Forum, which has met annually since 2013 alternately in Berlin and Lisbon, brings together high‑level representatives from the two countries’ political sectors, business and scientific communities and civil society and makes a valuable contribution to mutual understanding. Germany, Portugal and Slovenia have liaised closely with one another with regard to their successive presidencies of the Council of the European Union in 2020 and 2021.
Germany is among Portugal’s most important trading partners alongside Spain, France and ahead of the UK. Some German companies have been present in the region for over a century. Several of the well-known major concerns have had their own production facilities in Portugal for decades, but various medium-sized German companies also manufacture in the country. In the industrial sector, they provide the greatest foreign contribution to the GDP and have created a particularly large number of highly skilled jobs. They are among the biggest private investors in the country.