- Portugal's current administrative structure consists of 18 districts and two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira Islands). These are Aveiro, Azores, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon (the capital), Madeira, Portalegre, Oporto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, and Viseu. Portugal's district system since the 1970s has been in a state of transition. Portugal's historic provinces continue to be included on many maps and charts, historical and current literature, and in current conversation, although they are no longer part of Portugal's official administrative structure. Since Portugal joined the European Community (EEC) in 1986, there have been political efforts to replace the district system with regions, but this effort was at least temporarily stymied in 1998, in a national referendum in which voters rejected the move toward regionalization. Some changes have been made in the administration and grouping of municipalities, but so far the district system remains dominant.
Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. by Douglas L. Wheeler . 2014.
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