Summit: European leaders discuss “destiny” and “place of the EU” in the world
António Costa has scheduled several bilateral meetings to discuss the recovery and resilience plan and the program of the Portuguese EU presidency.
What is Europe’s place in the world? What capacity does Europe have to “shape its own destiny?”, It is from these doubts that the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, calls the national representatives for “a debate”, in Brussels, at the table of the European Summit.
The extraordinary face-to-face meeting will finally address the various foreign policy topics, and make an assessment of the European approach to Covid-19, after a week’s postponement, interestingly, so that Charles Michel would give himself the time needed to fulfill himself a quarantine period for having been in contact with a personal security officer who tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Recovery and resilience
The Prime Minister, António Costa has been in Brussels since Wednesday, and he has several meetings scheduled this morning, to set details of access to the funds of the recovery and resilience plan, for the post-pandemic recovery. The working meetings take place within the framework of the preparation of the program of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union, which will start on January 1, 2021.
The first bilateral meeting will take place at 8:15 am, with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. António Costa then goes to the headquarters of the European Commission, for a meeting with the vice president of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager. In the middle of the morning, the Portuguese Prime Minister meets with the European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni. European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, welcomes António Costa, before the summit kicks off.
The grand meeting will begin with a discussion of relations between the European Union and China, following the video summit held this month, between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In the invitation letter that he addressed to the 27 heads of state or government, Charles Michel expressed the European intention to “work with China to face the main global challenges, such as the pandemic COVID 19 and climate change”. These are points of convergence between the EU and China.
However, there are other dossiers also on the table, such as the “economic relationship”, which was not a consensual topic in the dialogue between the representatives of the European bloc with Xi Jinping, namely because Brussels called for “more balance and reciprocity”, which guarantee “Level playing field”. In other words: “China has to convince the EU that it is worth investing”, as the Commission president commented, in the video meeting with Xi Jinping.
Brussels has also been developing a firmer dialogue with Beijing on human rights, with more unnerving discussions, when the issue of Xinjiang correction camps is addressed, from which there are reports of abuses with the Uighur minority. The muscular action against the protests in Hong Kong was also heavily criticized by Brussels.
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