Portugal assumes rotating presidency of European Union
Following the six-month-long German presidency of the Council of the European Union, Portugal officially accepted the rotating presidency on Friday (January 1) with the motto “a fair, green and digital recovery”.
According to international news agencies, Portugal has officially accepted the rotating presidency until July 2021, with its main agenda of the EU for the next six months the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.
The EU will specifically focus on COVID-19 vaccination and reducing the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. The outcome of the Brexit agreement will also be on the agenda of the 27-member agenda, as the new trade agreement between London and Brussels will be implemented in 2021.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said Portugal could be an ‘honest broker’ under the terms of the new agreement with the UK, indicating the diplomatic alliance between Portugal and the UK dating back to the 14th century.
In a statement announcing the priorities of his term as president, Portugal pledged to ‘promote climate change and digital transition’. The country also aims to implement a “European pillar of EU social rights as a distinctive element to ensure a fair and inclusive transition”, as well as to strengthen Europe’s autonomy while remaining open to the world. .
It can be noted that this is the fourth time that Portugal is taking the lead of the EU presidency, as each member state takes over the rotating presidency.
Slovenia will take over Portugal’s EU term presidency on 1 July.