Portugal's accession to the EU in 1986 boosted the demand for conference interpreters both at home and abroad. Many who developed their interpreting skills in Portugal provide their services as freelance or staff interpreters in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, and many who came to interpreting through the EU institutions brought their skills back to Portugal.
Apart from serving national institutions, AIIC Portugal interpreters provide interpretation for local international entities such as the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Maritime Safety Agency. AIIC Portugal interpreters are frequently called to serve throughout the world on missions conducted by the UN, IMF, World Bank, FAO, etc., many of which in Africa.
The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) was founded in 1953. With head offices in Geneva, Switzerland, it includes close to 3,000 members in almost 100 countries, and more than 20 AIIC regions and half a dozen sectors worldwide. Members of AIIC provide interpretation into approximately 50 languages, including sign languages.
Portugal became an AIIC region in 1985, during the Lisbon Assembly, and later set up APROFIC, an association under Portuguese law, that mirrored the region for some 20 years until it was disbanded. Members are located mainly in Lisbon but also in Funchal and in Porto, where Assembly met in 2003. Like their colleagues worldwide, AIIC Portugal interpreters work to a strict code of ethics that sets high standards of confidentiality and good interpreting practice.