The prime minister praised the actions of his Foreign Affairs minister during the period of the Portuguese presidency, saying that, this time, unlike in the past, no one complained about the absence of the executive leader “inside”.

This observation was made by António Costa right at the beginning of his speech, which closed the public meeting of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, which took place at Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon.

The executive leader began by rejecting the thesis that the rotating presidencies by member states ended in terms of political impact in 2007.

“We know that the Treaty of Lisbon took some shine off the rotating presidencies, but it did not remove work from the rotating presidencies of the Council of the European Union. This presidency was no less laborious than the previous three Portuguese presidencies, he argued.

In the series of compliments he made to those who collaborated directly and indirectly with the Portuguese presidency, António Costa left special references to Germany, which preceded Portugal in the second half of 2020, to the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, and above all to the point from a political point of view, to his Minister of State and Foreign Affairs.

“A special word to you minister [Augusto Santos Silva], because one of the many things that are commonly said about presidencies is that they are very successful out there, but they destroy a lot of prime ministers inside,” he said, using a casual tone.

Then, addressing Augusto Santos Silva directly, he told him: “Thanks to the effective command you assumed in the presidency, no one complained about the absence of the prime minister,” he declared.

According to António Costa, inside, “some complain is about the excessive presence of the prime minister”.

The prime minister also left special words for ambassadors Nuno Brito and Pedro Lourtie, respectively permanent and deputy permanent representatives of the Portuguese presidency in Brussels.

The fourth Portuguese presidency of the European Union ended on June 30, handing over to Slovenia at the head of the EU Council for the next six months.

The Portuguese semester ended on Wednesday with the Recovery Summit, organized by the Ministry of Finance and which brought together European ministers, commissioners, MEPs and experts in Lisbon to debate the reform of the European economy after the covid-19 and pandemic the EU economic governance model.

Costa wants to “confront” different views on the future model of Europe

The prime minister defended today that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union left several “seeds”, one of which for a deep debate in which different visions about the future model of Europe are confronted.

This position was conveyed by António Costa in the speech that closed the public session to assess the six months of Portuguese presidency, at Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, after interventions by the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, and the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva.

With several members of the Government seated in the front rows of the audience, the Prime Minister considered that the Portuguese presidency left at least four seeds, from the debate on the economic governance of Europe, the plan for the social dimension and the opening of the Union to the outside world. against a protectionist perspective.

But it was in the chapter of the conference on the future of Europe that the leader of the Portuguese executive left more warnings.

“I hope it is not a debate between Member States, a debate about institutions, but one that is centered on the aspirations of Europeans. We have to focus on the debate on the future of Europe, because, frankly, it is necessary to confront the different visions that today they exist within the European Union”, he advocated.

According to the prime minister, “there is no point in deceiving by pretending that there is no doubt about what the Union should be.”

“Some would really like the EU not to be a Union, but something that was and is no longer, limited to an internal market that would generate greater added value from an internal point of view and that’s it. Today the European Union it is much more than that”, stressed António Costa.

The fourth Portuguese presidency of the European Union ended on June 30, handing over to Slovenia at the head of the EU Council for the next six months.

The Portuguese semester ended on Wednesday with the Recovery Summit, organized by the Ministry of Finance and which brought together European ministers, commissioners, MEPs and experts in Lisbon to debate the reform of the European economy after the covid-19 and pandemic the EU economic governance model.

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