The Portuguese Government Solution: The Fourth Way to Social-Democratic Politics?



Can the Portuguese case be an inspiration for the European Left?

Since November 2015 Portugal is embodying an historic experiment of a left-wing Government led by Prime Minister António Costa, from the Socialist Party (PS) with the parliamentary support of the Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda), the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (PEV). Almost two years in power, Portugal’s government solution attests that a political alternative is possible in Europe and that left parties can become strategic partners against austerity and break the prevailing ‘grand-coalition’ style of governance. At the European level, Portugal’s historical pact on the left is often perceived as an exceptional story of progressivism and an inspiration for the social democratic movement. Can the Portuguese government example be a catalyst for a deeper transformation at the European level and inspire a new strategy and a new agenda to Europe’s Left? And can the radical left and the centre left find more points of unity than of division also in other European countries?

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