Conference – Portugal and its Armed Forces: What is the Role of the Armed Forces in Portuguese Society?

Promoted by the Professional Military Associations (the ANS – National Sergeants’ Association, the AOFA – Armed Forces Officers’ Association and the AP – Enlisted Association), a conference was held on the theme “Portugal and its Armed Forces – What role does the Armed Forces play in Portuguese Society?“, at the São Jorge Cinema, in Lisbon, on 24 May.

This event, which, in the words of one of the illustrious speakers of the first panel, was “of great importance, with the sole exception of being late”, is integrated in the program of the official commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the Revolution of April 25th, 1974, the also called “Carnation Revolution”.

After the beginning of the works, launched by the AOFA Board Member, Andreia Marques, and in the presence of significant and representative institutional guests, as well as an attentive audience, the opening speech and presentation of the Conference was given by the President of the National Council of the AOFA, Lieutenant Colonel António Costa Mota.


The conference was divided into two panels. The morning panel was moderated by journalist Sérgio Furtado and included speeches by Dr. Hélder Semedo, General Counsel of the University of Lisbon; Dr. Sandra Esteves, from the Democratic Women’s Movement; Dr. André Marçalo, from the Portuguese Association of Democratic Jurists; and Prof. Dr. Malheiro de Magalhães, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Coimbra.



After a free lunch, the afternoon panel was moderated by journalist Pedro Tadeu and had the interventions of Dr. Álvaro Beleza, President of SEDES (one of the oldest Portuguese civic associations); Dr. Vasco Hilário, Director General of National Defense Resources and Sergeant-Major António Lima Coelho, member of the Board of the European Organization of Military Associations and Trade Unions – EUROMIL.




At the end of both panels there was a lively debate with interesting interventions that left open the perspective for future initiatives in this area. The closing speech was given by the President of the AP’s Board, Major-Corporal Paulo Sopinha de Amaral.

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