Community of Portuguese Language Countries
Comunidade dos Países
de Língua Portuguesa
Community of Portuguese
Map of CPLP member states (blue), associate observers (green), and officially-interested countries & territories (gold).
|Francisco Ribeiro Telles|
|Armindo Brito Fernandes|
|Establishment||July 17, 1996|
|10,743,526 km2 (4,148,099 sq mi)|
|270 million (2018)|
The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa; abbreviated as the CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth (Comunidade Lusófona), is an international organization and political association of Lusophone nations across four continents, where Portuguese is an official language. The CPLP operates as a privileged, multilateral forum for the mutual cooperation of the governments, economies, non-governmental organizations, and peoples of the Lusofonia. The CPLP consists of 9 member states and 19 associate observers, located in Europe, South America, Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.
The history of the CPLP began when it was founded in 1996, in Lisbon, by Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe, nearly two decades after the beginning of the decolonization of the Portuguese Empire. Following the independence of Timor-Leste in 2002 and the application by Equatorial Guinea in 2014, both of those countries became members of the CPLP. Macau (a Special Administrative Region of China), Galicia (an Autonomous Community of Spain), and Uruguay are formally interested in full membership and another 17 countries across the world are formally interested in associate observer status.
The idea of a type of international community or political union of Portuguese language countries had been proposed and studied numerous times in history. However, the idea for what would become the CPLP came about in 1983, during a state visit to Cabo Verde by Jaime Gama, Foreign Minister of Portugal, when he first proposed a biennial summit of heads of state and government of Lusophone countries of the world and the idea of regular meetings between ministerial counterparts of the member states.
Through successive enlargements, the Union has grown from the seven founding states—Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe—to the current nine, with the self-determination of Timor-Leste in 2002 and the accession of Equatorial Guinea in 2014 at the 10th CPLP Summit in Dili, Timor-Leste with the issuance of the Dili Declaration.
The community has grown beyond its mission in fostering cultural ties between the Portuguese language countries into facilitating trade and political cooperation between the Lusophone countries of the world, with the CPLP is the fourth-largest producer of oil in the world and its citizens totalling more than 270 million people.
In 2017, in Brasilia, the nine-member states agreed to enlarge cooperation in matters of the seas, tourism, economy and more ambitious defense and cooperation mechanisms. More rights to the observer states were also approved, which Argentina planned to join.
The CPLP's guidelines and priorities are established by a biannual Conference of Heads of State and Government (known as the CPLP Summits) and the Organization's plan of action is approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets every year. Special summits can be requested at any time by 2/3 of the member states, usually for the purpose of pressing matters or incidents at the moment. There are also monthly meetings of the Permanent Steering Committee that follow specific initiatives and projects.
The CPLP is financed by its member states.
CPLP is a multilateral forum created to deepen cultural, economic, and political cooperation among the Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations of the world. The prime objectives of the CPLP are:
- Promotion and dissemination of the Portuguese language
- Political and diplomatic cooperation between the member states of the CPLP
- Cooperation in all areas, including education, health, science and technology, defense, agriculture, public administration, communications, justice, public safety, culture, sports and media
The Executive Secretary of the CPLP (Portuguese: Secretário Executivo da CPLP) is the executive head and highest representative of the CPLP. The Executive Secretary is charged with leading the Executive Secretariat (Secretariado Executivo), the CPLP's executive branch responsible for creating and implementing the CPLP's agenda of projects and initiatives. The Executive Secretary, who must be a high-ranking diplomat or politician from one of the member states, is elected for a mandate of two years at the biennial CPLP Summit, and can be reelected once to a second term. The Executive Secretariat is headquartered at Penafiel Palace in Lisbon, Portugal.
|1||Marcolino José Carlos Moco||Angola||July 1996||July 2000||3rd Prime Minister of Angola (1992–1996)|
|2||Dulce Maria Pereira||Brazil||July 2000||August 2002||President of the Fundação Cultural Palmares (1996–2000)|
|3||João Augusto de Médicis||Brazil||August 2002||April 2004||Brazilian Ambassador to Kenya (1984–1989)|
Brazilian Ambassador to Poland (1991–1993)
Brazilian Ambassador to China (1994–1996)
Brazilian Ambassador to Chile (1999–2002)
|4||Luís de Matos Monteiro da Fonseca||Cape Verde||July 2004||July 2008||Cabo Verdean Ambassador to European Community (1987–1991)|
Cabo Verdean Ambassador to Russia (1991–1994)
Cabo Verdean Ambassador to Austria (1999–2001)
Cabo Verdean Ambassador to the United Nations (2001–2004)
|5||Domingos Simões Pereira||Guinea-Bissau||July 2008||July 2012||16th Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau (2014–2015)|
Guinea-Bissau Minister of Public Works (2004–2005)
|6||Murade Isaac Murargy||Mozambique||July 2012||January 2017||Secretary-General of the Presidency of Mozambique (1995–2005)|
Mozambican Ambassador to France and Germany (1985–1995)
|7||Maria do Carmo Trovoada Pires de Carvalho Silveira||São Tomé and Príncipe||January 2017||December 2018||13th Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe (2005–2006)|
Governor of the São Toméan Central Bank (1999–2005, 2011–2016)
|8||Francisco Ribeiro Telles||Portugal||December 2018||Present||Portuguese Ambassador to Cabo Verde (2002–2006)|
Portuguese Ambassador to Angola (2007–2012)
Portuguese Ambassador to Brazil (2012–2016)
Portuguese Ambassador to Italy (2016–2018)
Permanent Consultative Committee
In 2016, CPLP revised its cooperation protocol in defense, affirming the organization in the promotion of peace and security.
The 2017 Exercício Felino military exercise taking place in Academia Militar das Agulhas Negras, Resende, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, aims for the increased interoperability of the armed forces of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Timor-Leste. The first phase of the exercise, known as Carta (chart) took place in Cape Verde in 2016, in which the operation was planned and executed using computer networks as a war game. The Exercício Felino was established in the year 2000.
There are nine full member states of the CPLP. Seven were founding members of the CPLP: Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, and São Tomé and Príncipe; Timor-Leste joined in 2002, after achieving independence and Equatorial Guinea joined in 2014.
Macau was the last Portuguese colony to be decolonized, and returned to China in 1999. It still retains traces of Lusophone culture and Portuguese is one of the official languages of the territory. Despite that, the majority of the population in Macau do not speak and understand Portuguese; rather, Cantonese is the main language. In 2006, during the II Ministerial meeting between China and Portuguese Speaking Countries, the CPLP Executive Secretary and Deputy ambassador Tadeu Soares invited the Chief Executive of the Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region, Edmund Ho, to request the Associate Observer status for Macau. The Government of Macau has not yet formalized this request.
Equatorial Guinea accession
When the CPLP was formed, Equatorial Guinea asked for observer status. Equatorial Guinea (Portuguese: Guiné Equatorial) was a Portuguese colony from the 15th to 18th centuries and has some territories where Portuguese-based creole languages are spoken and cultural connections with São Tomé and Príncipe and Portugal are felt. In the 21st century, the country has cooperated with Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazil at an educational level. At the CPLP summit of July 2004, in São Tomé and Príncipe, the member states agreed to change the statutes of the community to accept states as associate observers. Equatorial Guinea then engaged in discussion for full membership. In June 2010, Equatorial Guinea asked to be admitted as full member. At its eighth summit in Luanda in July 2010, the CPLP decided to open formal negotiations with Equatorial Guinea about full membership in the CPLP. At its 10th summit in Dili in July 2014, Equatorial Guinea was admitted as CPLP member.
In July 2006, during the Bissau summit, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius were admitted as Associate Observers along with 17 International associations and organizations considered as Consultative Observers. On 23 July 2014, Equatorial Guinea was admitted as a CPLP member.
Mauritius, which was discovered by Portuguese explorers and maintains strong connections with Mozambique. In 2008, Senegal, with historical connections to Portuguese colonisation in Casamance, was admitted as Associate Observer.
In July 2014, during the Dili summit, the Heads of State and Government approved a resolution that grants Georgia, Japan, Namibia and Turkey the status of Associate Observers. Japan has had historical contacts with the Portuguese language in the 16th and 17th century, and today has connections to the Lusophone world through Japanese Brazilians in Brazil and Japan. Namibia has had extensive contact with the Lusophone world due to its location just south of Angola.
Three European nations, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, were admitted as observers along with Uruguay at the 2016 summit. Uruguay has historical ties to Brazil and Portugal and has some speakers of Portuñol, a Spanish–Portuguese pidgin. In January 2018 and prior to the 2018 summit, Italy requested the observer status as an effort for the consolidation of bilateral relations with all of the Portuguese-speaking countries. In its request, the Italian government referred that due to the increasing number of associated observers in the community, CPLP is becoming a forum for countries in various geographical regions. Earlier in January, Andorra also formalized its candidacy for the same status. Italy shares a legacy of Ancient Rome and Italy is the non-lusophone nation with the greatest number of university chairs in the Portuguese language. Because of immigration and geographic proximity, Portuguese is one of the most spoken languages in Andorra.
In the 2018 summit with all the heads of state present, with the exception of East Timor due to national policies issues, several observers joined the organization: Luxembourg, Andorra, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Serbia, Chile, France, Italy and the Organization of Ibero-American States joined as observers. Uruguay, an observer nation since 2016, admitted in early 2018 a candidacy to become full member of the CPLP.
The status of consultative observer is granted to organizations of civil society throughout the Lusofonia and pan-Lusophone bodies, as well as Lusophone institutions based outside of the Lusofonia, which serve a consultative status to the CPLP.
|Galicia ( Spain)|
|Macau ( China)||
|São Tomé and Príncipe||
The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to 267 million people located across the globe but having a common language, a shared history, and some cultural similarities. The CPLP nations have a combined area of about 10,742,000 square kilometres (4,148,000 sq mi), which is more than twice as large as the European Union 4,475,757 square kilometres (1,728,099 sq mi), but with a little more than half of the population.
Since its formation, the CPLP has helped to solve problems in São Tomé and Príncipe and in Guinea-Bissau, because of coups d'état in those countries. The CPLP helped these two countries to take economic reforms (in the case of São Tomé) and democratic ones (in the case of Guinea-Bissau).
In the early 21st century, the leaders of the CPLP believed that peace in Angola and Mozambique, as well as East Timor's independence, favored the development of the CPLP and a strengthening of multilateral cooperation.
Since many children in rural areas of Lusophone Africa and East Timor are out-of-school youth, the education officials in these regions seek help from Portugal and Brazil to increase the education to spread Portuguese fluency (like establishing Instituto Camões language center branches in main cities and rural towns), as Portuguese is becoming one of the main languages in Southern Africa, where it is also taught in Namibia and South Africa.
Angola has not yet signed the most recent accord on the orthography of the Portuguese language, and has asked other PALOP countries to support it in discussions on various points of that accord with Portugal.
In many developing Portuguese-speaking nations, Portuguese is the language of government and commerce which means that Portuguese-speaking people from African nations can work and communicate with others in different parts of the world, especially in Portugal and Brazil, where the economies are stronger. Many leaders of Portuguese-speaking nations in Africa are fearful that language standards do not meet the fluency required and are therefore making it compulsory in schools so that a higher degree of fluency is achieved and young Africans will be able to speak a world language that will help them later in life.
Easing citizens' cross-border movement between the member states was proposed at the 2017 CPLP Summit. This proposal by Portugal and Cape Verde to Brazil was thought by some to conflict with Europe's Schengen area. However, this free movement is based on a different model: as residence permits, associated with the recognition of academic degrees and professional qualification, and maintenance of social rights including pension systems. It would henceforth establish the Lusophone citizenship, the cidadania lusófona.
|Conference of Heads of State|
& Government of the CPLP
|Host country||Rotates every two years between CPLP member states|
Most recent: Cabo Verde 2018
|Website||Conferência de Chefes de Estado e de Governo da CPLP|
The Conference of Heads of State and Government of the CPLP (Portuguese: Conferência de Chefes de Estado e de Governo da Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa; CCEG), commonly known as the CPLP Summit (Cimeira da CPLP) is a biennial meeting of heads of state and heads of government of the member states of the CPLP. It is considered one of the fundamental pillars of the CPLP's structure.
The mission of the CPLP Summit is to:
- Define and focus the CPLP's strategy and general policy
- Adopt and implement the agenda agreed upon by member states
- To create institutions of the CPLP or delegate powers to the CPLP Council of Ministers
- Elect a rotating presidency of the CPLP
- Elect the CPLP Executive Secretary
|Summit||Host country||Host city||Year|
|V||São Tomé and Príncipe||São Tomé||2004|
|XII||Cape Verde||Ilha do Sal||2018|
International Portuguese Language Institute
- Flag of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries
- Geographic distribution of the Portuguese language
- List of countries where Portuguese is an official language
- List of international organisations which have Portuguese as an official language
- Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP)
- International Association of Portuguese-Speaking Communications
- Comunidade do Escutismo Lusófono
- Portuguese language in Africa
- Portuguese language in Asia
- Lusophone music
- Lusophony Games
- CPLP Games
- Instituto Camões
- Portuguese Empire
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