The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) formulates, coordinates and executes the foreign policy of Portugal. It is incumbent upon the MFA to ensure representation of the Portuguese State with other countries and international organizations, through its External Network of embassies, permanent missions and consular posts.
The duties of the MFA include protecting Portuguese citizens abroad, conducting international negotiations and international ties (agreements and treaties) of the Portuguese State, conducting and coordinating Portuguese participation in the process of European construction, and promotion of cooperative relations and friendship with the various international partners. The MFA also works with other ministries in defining the political framework for the participation of the Armed Forces and the Portuguese security forces in international missions.
MFA’s external action in matters of development cooperation and promotion of the Portuguese language and culture is pursued by Camões - Institute for Cooperation and Language, I. P., under the oversight and tutelage of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to its External Network, the MFA has central services that operate from the Palácio das Necessidades (Lisbon), which are responsible for defining the country’s foreign policy, in the multilateral and bilateral areas, in the administration of human resources and the patrimony of the State, European affairs and the consular area. Regarding the latter, the central services of the MFA provide legalization services and support to citizens residing abroad, both in Lisbon and in Porto.