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The Portuguese Public Finance Council was created by national initiative in May 2011 by the end of the XI legislative period, through the 5th amendment to Budget Framework Law. In Portugal, the need for such an institution had long been invoked and was eventually accepted in October 2010 by the main political parties, and even preceded the European guidance in the area. At the time, the Government — led by the Socialist Party — and the Social Democratic Party — in the opposition — agreed on setting up an independent working group with the task of drawing up the CFP’s Statutes. This initiative was part of an agreement towards the approval of the 2011 State Budget by the Parliament.

The signatory parties undertake to accept the proposals made by the working group, which was appointed in January 2011, coordinated by António Pinto Barbosa and comprising Teodora Cardoso and João Loureiro. The Statutes project was then presented in April and its final version was approved by the Parliament under the Law no. 54/2011 of 19 October (available in portuguese) and here unofficially translated to English.

The CFP started its activities following the appointment of its senior board in February 2012. The first CFP publication was published on 21 May of that same year.