Dr. J.M. (José) Barroso

Source: Europa Nu.

José Manuel Durão Barroso (1956) is president of the European Commission. He has been in office since the 18th of November 2004. Prior to his installation as Commission president Barroso served as state secretary for foreign affairs and prime minister of Portugal. He holds a degree in political sciences and has worked in academia for a number of years. Barroso is member of the PSD (Partido Social Democrata), a centre-right party allied to the European People's Party.


Personal data

Name and surname

José Manuel Durão (José) Barroso

Date of birth

23rd of March 1956 (Lisbon, Portugal)

Family status

Married, three children

Contact / website



Political affiliation

National party

Partido Social Democrata, since 1980

Former political affiliation

Federation of the Marxist-Leninist Students, 1970's

European political group

European People's Party

Political family

Centre right, Christian democrat

Party-political functions

  • member National Council PSD
  • member National Policy Committee
  • co-director of the National Studies Bureau
  • chairman International Relations Committee
  • president PSD, 1999 to 2004
  • vice-president EPP, 1999 to 2002



  • teaching assistant, University of Lisbon
  • teaching assistant, University of Geneva
  • visiting professor, Georgetown University (Verenigde Staten)
  • member of parliament (Portugal), 1985 to 2004
  • state secretary of Home Affairs, 1985 to 1987
  • state secretary of Foreign Affairs, 1987 to 1992
  • minister of Foreign Affairs, 1992 to 1995
  • head of department, International Relations Department Lusíada University, 1995 to 1999
  • minister-president, 2002 to 2004
  • president of the European Commission, since 2004

Additional functions

  • founding member University Association for European Studies, 1979
  • president, Academic Association of the Law Faculty, University of Lisbon, 1975 to 1976



As national politician

  • advisor on three UN missions for peace processes in Africa
  • head international mission on self-determination of East Timor
  • head international supervisory mission on elections Bosnia

As European politician

  • heightened the profile of the annual speech of the Commission president outlining the policy guidelines for the Commission for next year; the so-called 'State of the Union'
  • introduced, at the request of the European Parliament, a personal mission statement outlining his vision for the European Union for a next term for Commission president
  • represents the Commission at meetings at the level of heads of state
  • presents most of the major policy initiatives of the European Commission




Law, University of Lisbon

European studies, University of Geneva (Switzerland)


Political sciences, Georgetown University (United States)


  • Sistema de Govern o e Sistema Partidario (co-author article, 1980)
  • Le systeme politique portugais face a l'integration europeenne (dissertation, 1983)
  • A Politica Externa Portuguesa" (article, 1995)
  • Uma Certa Ideia de Europa (article, 1999)
  • Uma Ideia para Portugal (article, 2000)
  • Various other publications


Further information of interest

Honours and distinctions

  • Grã-Cruz Ordem Militar de Cristo (Portugal), 1996
  • Grande-colar Ordem de Timor-Leste (Oost-Timor), 2010
  • Gran Cruz Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III (Spanje), 2011
  • Numerous other honours and distinctions throughout Europe and around the world

Honorary degrees

Barroso holds many honorary doctorates from all over the world


  • Global leader of tomorrow, World Economic Forum, 1993
  • European of the year, European Voice, 2006
  • Many more albeit less prestigious awards


European Movement, since 1991


Permanently accompanied by bodyguards since 2005