Portugal assumes rotating presidency of European Union
As the six-month German presidency of the Council of European Union ended, Portugal has officially assumed the rotating presidency on Friday (Jan 1) with the motto “a fair, green and digital recovery”.
According to international news agencies Portugal has officially assumed the rotating presidency until July 2021, with its main agenda of the EU for the next six months will remain 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 27-member bloc’s agenda as the new trade deal between London and Brussels will be implemented in 2021.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said Portugal can be an “honest broker” under the terms of the new deal with the UK, pointing to the diplomatic alliance between Portugal and the UK dating back to the 14th century.
In a statement announcing the priorities of its term presidency, Portugal pledged to “promote recovery leveraged by the climate and digital transitions.” The country also aims to implement a “European Pillar of Social Rights of the EU as a distinctive element for ensuring a fair and inclusive transition” as well as strengthening Europe’s autonomy while remaining open to the world.
It may be noted that it’s the fourth time Portugal has taken the charge of EU presidency as each member country takes over the rotating presidency.
Slovenia will take over the EU term presidency from Portugal on July 1.