“I want to see Portugal in the EEC, the more we talk, the less we see”.
This was an old song from the early career of GNR, a band that marks the birth and evolution of rock in Portuguese.
It turns out that Portugal will assume the Presidency of the European Union in the first half of the next year. It is no small step. The Pandemic is still on the loose and – at the same time – Joe Biden will assume the Presidency of the United States of America.
Portugal ended up joining the EEC and in fact this meant a drastic, positively drastic change for the country. However, when Portugal takes over the Presidency of the EU Council again, the challenges for the old continent are manifold.
The British are leaving, but until now it is not clear the consequences of this situation.
The British exit frightens on several levels, even in terms of security, since Britain was one of the European countries that contributed most to NATO. The European defense strategy remains – obviously – dependent on the Atlantic Alliance, but the position of the EU countries in that alliance falls far short of what would be desirable.
Europe is lacking multilateralism, but there is an increasing number of bipolarisations. On one side there is China, and another on is the United States, without Europe being able to assume a decisive role in defining the world’s destinations.
The European project itself is showing growing signs of concern. It was possible to react to the Pandemic and decide on economic support for the various countries, which in isolation none of them would be able to achieve, but this support is blocked by the independence of countries like Hungary or Poland. Two of the countries – today – least recommended within the democratic practices that are proclaimed by the EU.
This financial “bazooka” is fundamental for countries like Portugal and we would hardly get it without being in the European Union. How could we not have a vaccine at the same time as the German people if it were not so. And how would our interest rates be if it weren’t for the mechanisms of the ECB, the European Central Bank.
All of this is today, as it was in recent years, a benefit with which the Portuguese and Europeans in general have become accustomed to living.
What has happened in the past 4 years in the United States proves that democracy is not made of habits, but of conquests … daily.
*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA