Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has begun an official visit to Germany, with stops in Berlin and Rostock, at the invitation of his counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, with the aim of consolidating bilateral relations.

According to his official programme, de Sousa is on Wednesday to attend the inauguration of an exhibition of work by Portugal-born artist Paula Rego, called ‘Between Imagination and Memory’, that is her first solo show in Germany, at the cultural centre of Portugal’s embassy in Berlin. There follows a reception for members of the Portuguese community at the residence of the ambassador, João Mira Gomes.


On Thursday, de Sousa is to be officially welcomed by the president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, followed by a brief meeting with students from Portuguese schools.


According to the office of the president in Lisbon, the visit "intends to consolidate bilateral relations between Portugal and Germany, maintaining the level of excellence that characterises the relationship between the two countries in all dimensions, at the institutional, academic, cultural, scientific and economic levels."


The visit, the president’s second to Germany, will also be "an opportunity to address a set of relevant topics in the European and multilateral plans", the office said in a statement.


De Sousa is on Thursday afternoon to attend the official opening ceremony of the Hanse Sail 2019 Maritime Festival in Rostock, which takes place annually in that city. The opening ceremony is to include a helicopter jump by four parachutists carrying the flags of Germany, Portugal and Latvia (which is the guest country of this year’s festival) as well as that of the city of Rostock.

In the evening, Portuguese fado singer Carminho is to give a free concert as a gift from Portugal to the city.


De Sousa visited Germany in the first year of his term, on 29 and 30 May 2016, when he met then then head of state, Joachim Gauck, in Berlin, as well as the then speaker of the Bunderstag, Norbert Lammert, and the chancellor, Angela Merkel.


At that time Portugal was facing possible sanctions from the European Union for its excessive deficit, but the threat did not materialise, after the European Commission decided in July of that year to officially suspend the fine. Portugal was finally to leave the excessive deficit procedure in June 2017.


On that visit, de Sousa pressed with Merkel his argument as to why he considered it "unfair" to impose sanctions on Portugal because of its excessive deficit. The management of migrant flows and the refugee crisis were other topics discussed during that the first visit.