Portugal to prioritise vaccination, economic recovery during EU Presidency

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that priorities during his country’s presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) would be the “success of the vaccination” against the novel coronavirus and the “economic and social recovery of Europe”.

On Friday, Portugal assumed the Presidency of the EU Council for the fourth time, reports Xinhua news agency.

“For the next six months, Portugal will be at the helm of the European Union (EU),” he said on Twitter on Friday, stressing the motto of the Portuguese presidency — “Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery”.

According to the Portuguese head of government, Europe’s economic and social recovery will be “based on the drivers of climate and digital transitions”, and that to implement the “European Pillar of Social Rights of the EU, no one will be left behind”.

The third of the priorities Costa announced is to reinforce the “strategic autonomy of a European Union open to the world”.

“It is therefore time to act together as a community of values and shared prosperity,” concluded Costa in his first official message as Portugal assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU.

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, extended “the best wishes of success to the Portuguese Prime Minister on his first day of the Presidency of the Council”.

“We are ready to work together, in the interests of the EU and its citizens, for a social, just, green and digital recovery,” he added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in her tweet, wished “good luck to Antonio Costa and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU”, saying she looks forward to working with the Prime Minister for the recovery of Europe and for the health of the citizens.