Who was Jorge Sampaio?

The former President of the Republic was the son of a doctor and an English teacher

Jorge Sampaio – given his full name, Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio – was born in Lisbon, on September 18, 1939, the son of Arnaldo Sampaio, a doctor, specialist in Public Health, and Fernanda Bensaude Branco de Sampaio, a private English teacher. He was married to Maria José Ritta and had two children, Vera and André. He died this Friday, the 10th, at the age of 81, at the Hospital de Santa Cruz, in Carnaxide.

Since childhood, he studied music and, due to his father's career, spent a great deal of time in the USA and England, an experience that left a deep impression on him. He attended secondary studies at Pedro Nunes and Passos Manuel high schools.

In 1961, he graduated in Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon. At the University, he developed a relevant academic activity, thus initiating a persistent political action in opposition to the Dictatorship.

He was elected President of the Academic Association of the Faculty of Law, in 1960-61, and General Secretary of the Meeting of Academic Associations (RIA), in 1961-62. As such, he was one of the protagonists of the academic crisis of the early 60s, which gave rise to a long and widespread movement of student protest, which lasted until April 25, 1974, and which deeply shook the Regime.

He began, however, an intense career as a lawyer, which extended to all branches of law, having also performed directive functions in the Portuguese Bar Association. He played an important role in the defense of political prisoners at the Lisbon Plenary Court.

Continuing his action as an opponent of the Dictatorship, he ran in 1969 for the National Assembly elections, joining the CDE lists. He developed a constant political and intellectual activity, participating in resistance movements and in the affirmation of a democratic alternative with a socialist matrix, open to the new horizons of European political thought.

After the Revolution of April 25, 1974, he was one of the main drivers of the creation of the Socialist Left Movement (MES), from which he left, however, at the founding congress in December of the same year, due to fundamental disagreement with the orientation. ideological defined there.

During the years of the Revolution, it played an important role in the dialogue with the moderate wing of the MFA, being an active supporter of the positions of the “Grupo dos Nine”. In March 1975, he was appointed Secretary of State for External Cooperation, in the IV Provisional Government.

Also in 1975, he founded “Intervenção Socialista”, a group made up of politicians and intellectuals, who would come to play important roles in public life, and which developed a significant work of reflection and political renewal.

In 1978, Jorge Sampaio joined the Socialist Party (PS). In 1979, he was elected deputy to the Assembly of the Republic, by the Lisbon circle and became a member of the National Secretariat of the PS.

From 1979 to 1984, he was a member of the European Commission for Human Rights at the Council of Europe, carrying out important work there in the defense of Fundamental Rights and contributing to a more dynamic application of the principles contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.

He was re-elected deputy to the Assembly of the Republic in 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1991. In 1987/88, he was President of the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party, having assumed, in 1986-87, the responsibility for International Relations of the PS. He was also co-Chairman of the “Africa Committee” of the Socialist International.

In 1989, he was elected General Secretary of the Socialist Party, a position he held until 1991, and was appointed by the Assembly of the Republic as a member of the Council of State.

In 1989, he decided to run for the presidency of Lisbon City Council, a position for which he was then elected and then re-elected in 1993. This candidacy assumed, at the time, great political significance and contributed to giving local elections a national importance. As Mayor of Lisbon, and at the head of a team, he asserted a strategic vision, using new concepts and methods of planning, management, integration and urban development.

From 1990 to 1995, he held the Presidency of the Union of Portuguese Language Cities (UCCLA), being elected Vice-President of the Union of Ibero-American Cities, in 1990. He was also elected President of the Movement of Eurocities (1990) and President of the Federation World Cup of Cities (1992).

In 1995, Jorge Sampaio presented his candidacy for the presidential elections. He received the support of numerous personalities, independent and from other political areas, with an emphasis on political, cultural, economic and social life, and from the Socialist Party. On January 14, 1996, he was elected in the first round. He was invested in the office of President of the Republic on March 9, 1996, taking a solemn oath. He fulfilled his first term exercising an initiative magistracy in line with his electoral commitment. He presented himself again and was elected again in the first round, on January 14, 2001, for a new term.

Jorge Sampaio has maintained, over the years, a constant political-cultural intervention, namely through his constant presence in newspapers and magazines (Seara Nova, O Tempo eo Modo, República, Jornal Novo, Option, Expresso, O Jornal, Diário de Notícias and Public, among others).

In 1991, he published it, under the title The Party of a Dream, a collection of his political texts. In 1995, his book was published A look at Portugal, in which he responded to personalities from various sectors of national life, configuring his perspective on the country's problems. In 2000, he published the book I want to tell you, in which he exposes his updated vision of the challenges facing Portuguese society. His presidential interventions were collected in the books Portuguese IX.

In April 2006, he took office as State Councilor, in his capacity as former President of the Republic.

In May 2006, he was appointed the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Fight against Tuberculosis and, in April 2007, he was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

He was also president of the Advisory Board of the University of Lisbon (Feb. 2007).

He was Grand Necklace of the Order of the Tower and Sword, of Valor, Loyalty and Merit and of the Order of Liberty, and Grand Officer of the Order of Infante D. Henrique.

Among the foreign decorations, the following stand out:

Grande Necklace National Order of the Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil; Necklaces of the Orders of Carlos III and of Isabel the Catholic, from Spain; Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, from France; 1st Degree of the Supreme Order of Chrysanthemum, Japan; Grand Cross of the Order of the Golden Lion of the House of Nassau, Luxembourg; Grand Necklace of the Order of Wissam Al-Mohammadi and Grand Cross Order of Wissam Alaouite (Wissam Alaouit Cherifien), Morocco; 1st Degree of the Order of Friendship and Peace, from Mozambique; Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Olav, Norway; Grand Cross of the Order of Orange Nassau, Netherlands; Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael & St. George and of the Royal Victorian Order, from the United Kingdom.

He received several national and foreign awards, including:

Doctor Honoris Causa – University of Aveiro, April 2, 2008; University of Coimbra, 24 June 2010 (More…); University of Lisbon, 11th October 2010

Carlos V European Award – 2004, by the Fundación Academia Europea de Yuste (More…)

XIV North-South Prize of the Council of Europe – Queen Rania-Al Abdullah and former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio, 16 March 2010 (More…)

2010 Dialogue of Cultures Award, by the Ayuntamiento de la Antigua and Leal Villa de Montánchez

Medal of Gratitude 2010, by the European Solidarity Center (Poland)

VI Sevilla Nodo Between Cultures International Award – 2011 – “for his important work in favor of the respect and development of Human Rights, and for his efforts to eliminate cultural and religious barriers between peoples” – granted by the Sevilla Nodo Foundation.


Source: http://jorgesampaio.pt/jorgesampaio/pt/