The “success” of the Portuguese presidency will influence the French presidency of the EU Council which will start in early 2022, leading France to support “Portuguese ambitions at the head of the European project by 200%”
“We are very supportive of you and we support the Portuguese presidency 200%. We are committed, Portuguese and French, to a challenge that is not like the others. We are facing the crisis of a generation, it is a test for Europe and a test of its capacity to react and to project its ambitions for the future”, said Ambassador François Delattres, Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The French Ambassador spoke today at a conference organised by the Portuguese Embassy in France under the slogan “Time to act: for a fair, green and digital recovery”, which took place on the embassy premises in the presence of some ambassadors from EU countries in Paris and was broadcast on social networks.
Among the priorities of the Portuguese presidency, Delattres also stressed “the fight for Social Europe” and a new phase in the relationship between Europe and other partners, such as the United States with the new Biden administration.
Enrico Letta, former Italian Prime Minister, also spoke at the conference, stressing that Portugal will play an “essential” role due to the timing of this presidency and in the EU’s relationship with the outside world.
“The beginning of the year shows a world that is changing, that is rediscovering multilateralism, with what is happening in the United States and also the great changes in Asia. A global country like Portugal, always on the side of multilateralism, is going to make Europe increasingly a protagonist in this process”, he said.
Another challenge that will also be faced by Portugal in the coming months is the normalisation of the digital market in Europe, a point where even large groups have difficulty in fighting the American giants, reported Enrique Martínez, president of the FNAC-Darty group, who took part in the debate.
“We have been talking for a long time about the discrimination that exists and about the tax benefits granted to American groups and to which we, European companies, do not have access. This makes a huge difference and it is urgent to act quickly,” he warned.
Portugal took over its fourth presidency of the EU Council on 1 January, which will run through the first half of 2021, taking over from Germany and ahead of Slovenia, under the slogan “Time to act: for a fair, green and digital recovery”.