Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, as the acting president of the Council of the EU, on Wednesday discusses the priorities of the Portuguese presidency for the first half of the year with the European Parliament in Brussels
Less than a week after welcoming a delegation from the college of the European Commission led by president Ursula von der Leyen to Lisbon last Friday and having also welcomed the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, at the launch of the presidency earlier this month, Costa will complete the round of institutional discussions on the six-month programme with the European Parliament this morning.
Costa will address the parliament – meeting this week for the first time in plenary session, albeit with the vast majority of MEPs participating remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic – followed by a debate, in which the president of the Commission will also take part.
Before the debate, which is scheduled to begin at 10.30 a.m. in Lisbon, Costa is to hold a bilateral meeting with the president of the parliament, the Italian David Sassoli, and accompany him for a visit to an exhibition of contemporary Portuguese art – entitled “Freedom and Europe: a construction for all” – on display in one of the assembly buildings.
At the end of the debate in the chamber, Costa, Von der Leyen and Sassoli will hold a joint press conference at 13:00 local time (12:00 Lisbon), after which the prime minister will have separate meetings with the leaders of the two largest groups of the European Parliament, German Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), and Spanish Iratxe García, chairman of the Socialist and Democrat Group.
The agenda for Costa’s visit by to Brussels today is set for a further meeting with Charles Michel at the Council headquarters at 17:00 local time.
Under the slogan “Time to act: for a just, green and digital recovery”, the top priorities of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU until the end of June are the recovery from the economic and social crisis caused by the pandemic leveraged by the climate and digital transitions, the realisation of the EU’s European Pillar of Social Rights and the strengthening of the autonomy of a Europe open to the world.