Portugal will devote 1.66% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Defense spending by 2024, but will fall short of the 2% target agreed between NATO member countries at the Wales summit in 2014.
The Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa made the commitment in July last year when the Portuguese delegation was inaugurated at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels.
At the occasion, António Costa stressed that "for the first time" the country established "an annualized framework of convergence with the Atlantic Alliance's 2014 Summit commitment" to move towards the 2% target.
"It is a gradual evolutionary framework, sustained and compatible with the different budgetary needs of the country in the most diverse areas," said the head of the Portuguese Executive, noting, however, that the investment could reach 1.98% of GDP if the country to secure the Community funds to be applied for under the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union for the period 2021-2027, notably through the Europa Horizon and the European Defense Fund.
According to NATO data, in 2017 Portugal allocated 2,398 million euros to defense spending, equivalent to 1.24% of its GDP, with 2018 increasing its participation to 1.35%.
For the current year, António Costa said that Portugal intends to allocate 1.41% of its GDP.
"We sought to build a framework that simultaneously seeks to strengthen the capabilities of our Armed Forces to ensure national sovereignty, in particular the vast maritime resources in our charge, and, on the other hand, that could be an instrument for strengthening our scientific and also from our national industry, "the prime minister said in remarks to reporters in July last year.
Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho warned that it is not appropriate to measure the contributions of allied countries to NATO "only as a percentage of GDP", arguing that "responsibility-sharing" projects should be valued.
"Speaking only of contributions measured as a percentage of GDP is a reductive approach and inadequate to the complexity of the challenges to international security," said Cravinho at a ceremony in Oeiras, adding that "contribute to enabling the Atlantic Alliance, in all directions". is an example of "sharing responsibilities.
the development of military capabilities of European countries "is essential," said the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Admiral Silva Ribeiro, in an interview with Lusa in early March.
For the Admiral, "anything that is done" within the framework of the development of military capabilities of the European Union must be "useful for NATO", an organization that "is truly the military alliance of the Euro-Atlantic defense, of which Europe does part".
"It will still take time for the European Union to have a military response capability as NATO has. NATO has an essential player that is the US, with a differentiating potential, with what they invest in research and development, capacity building, is incomparable with any other country in the world and therefore NATO is what is truly the structuring military alliance of the Euro-Atlantic defense, of which Europe is a part, "he said.
Portugal had at the beginning of last month 215 military personnel engaged in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, in the protection of Kabul airport, in headquarters functions, support and special operations.
In the Central African Republic, 193 military personnel are engaged in the United Nations mission, 179 of which constitute as an immediate reaction force, based in Bangui, plus 14 in the headquarters, whose second commander is the Portuguese general Marcos Serronha.
In the mission of formation and counseling of the European Union in this country, commanded by Portugal until the next month of July, there are 63 military, according to data of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.
In Iraq, under the international coalition to combat Daesh [acrónimo árabe que designa o grupo ‘jihadista’ Estado Islâmico], "Inherent Resolve", there are 52 Portuguese soldiers training and training Iraqi forces.