Community of Portuguese Language Countries

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The CPLP nations.

The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa or CPLP) is a multilateral forum for mutual friendship between the lusophone nations across the world where Portuguese is an official language.


The formation and member states

CPLP was formed in 1996 with seven countries, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe. East Timor joined the community in 2002 after regaining independence from Indonesia. Brazil, East Timor, and the five African member countries are all former colonial possessions of Portugal.

The CPLP is a bloc in the process of construction and the societies of the eight member nations have little knowledge of each other. One of the unique features of the CPLP is that its members are linked by a common language and shared cultural features, which form a bridge between countries separated by great distances and different continents.

The importance of CPLP

CPLP flag

The Portuguese-speaking countries are home to more than 223 million people located across the globe but having similar cultures and a shared history. The CPLP nations have a combined area of about 10,742,000 km,2 which is larger than Canada.

Since its formation, the CPLP has helped to solve problems in São Tomé and Príncipe and in Guinea-Bissau, because of coups d'etat in those countries. These two problems were solved, and in fact, have helped these two countries to take economic reforms (in the case of São Tomé) and democratic ones (in the case of Guinea-Bissau).

The leaders of CPLP believe that peace in Angola and Mozambique as well as East Timor's independence will favour the further development of the CPLP and a strengthening of multilateral cooperation.

CPLP System

The Organization’s Executive Secretariat is responsible for designing and implementing CPLP´s projects and initiatives. It is located in Lisbon, Portugal. The Executive Secretary has a two-year mandate, and can be re-elected only once.

CPLP´s guidelines and priorities are established by biannual Conference of Heads of State and the Organization’s plan of action is approved by the Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets every year.

There are also monthly meetings of the Permanent Steering Committee that follow specific initiatives and projects.

The CPLP is mainly financed by its eight member states.

The CPLP flag has now eight wings not seven.

Executive Secretaries

Name Took Office Left Office Country
Marcolino Moco 17 July 1996 July 2000 Angola
Dulce Maria Pereira July 2000 1 August 2002 Brazil
João Augusto de Médicis 1 August 2002 April 2004 Brazil
Zeferino Martins (Interim) April 2004 July 2004 Mozambique
Luís de Matos Monteiro da Fonseca July 2004 Present Cape Verde

Main initiatives

  • CPLP´s HIV-Aids Program – designed to help the 5 African member states
  • Center for the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills – being established in Luanda, Angola
  • Center for the Development of Public Administration – being established in Maputo, Mozambique
  • Center for East-Timorese Official Languages
  • Conference on Malaria – to be held in São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Portuguese Language Census
  • Digital School and University
  • Electoral Mission to Guinea-Bissau (East Timor’s Foreign Minister, the Nobel Prize laureate, José Ramos-Horta is CPLP´s Representative to the Electoral Process)
  • Emergency Project for the Support of Institution Rebuilding in Guinea-Bissau
  • Rebuilding East Timor’s Justice and Public Administration
  • Combating Poverty and Starvation

Free Movement of People

The eight Portuguese-speaking nations signed agreements to facilitate the cross-border circulation of their citizens, including multiple-entry visas for businesspeople and others who travel frequently, a streamlining of the requisites and fees paid for short visits, and the right to medical treatment and residency permits for all CPLP citizens in every one of the member countries.

However, a proposal for the adoption of common citizenship failed because Angola and Mozambique opposed. The statute, which is already in force between Brazil and Portugal, would provide equal civil and political rights for the citizens of any nation of CPLP.

Other Countries and Territories

Some Galicians want the autonomous region of Galicia (Galiza) in Spain to take part in this Union, because their language, Galego, is closely related to Portuguese (in fact many consider one to be a dialect of the other). The two languages have a common origin in Galicia and northern Portugal. A similar case happened with East Timor. But before independence East Timor had the status of Observer, although the exiled government of East Timor tried to gain full member status before independence.

When the CPLP was formed, Equatorial Guinea also asked for observer status. Equatorial Guinea has some territories where Portuguese Creole is spoken and cultural connections with São Tomé and Príncipe and Portugal are felt. Also, the country has recently 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 Equatorial Guinea as an observer. Morocco and Macao also became interested in an observer status.

The Instituto Internacional de Macau, from Macao, has observer status in the community as well. Its aim is to introduce Macanese youngsters to the CPLP nations and culture, in order to help assure the distinct identity of the territory within China.

See also

External link

Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) Flag of CPLP
Angola | Brazil | Cape Verde | East Timor | Guinea-Bissau | Mozambique | Portugal | São Tomé and Príncipe

de:Gemeinschaft der Portugiesischsprachigen Länder es:Comunidad de Países de Lengua Portuguesa ja:ポルトガル語諸国共同体 pl:Wspólnota Państw Portugalskojęzycznych pt:Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa


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