This essay belongs to the fi eld of studies devoted to South European democratizations. As historiography has already underlined Europeanism played a key role in the political and institutional change of Spain and Portugal in the late Seventies. Starting from this assumption we will focus on the external infl uence in the reorganization of these countries’ socialist parties - and in particular - the way European action and perception infl uenced the renewal of their internal leadership. In order to describe this process we have chosen to backdate our analysis to the late Fifties. We will see how the respective domestic opposition groups interpreted the Eec under the Estado Novo and Franco regime and to what extent the meaning assigned - that time - to the European institutions contributed to shape the political message of the Iberian socialism, after the end of the dictatorship.
Keywords: Leadership, Carnation Revolution, Iberian Socialist parties, European Integration, Socialist International, Détente