Portugal will defend in Brussels, at the meeting of Thursday and Friday of the European Council, the study of the possibility and advantages of the joint acquisition of fuel in the space of the 27, the Portuguese prime minister said today.
At the end of the preparatory parliamentary debate on the European Council, which took place in the Portuguese Parliament, in Lisbon, António Costa recalled that the model “worked well” in the issue of vaccines against covid-19 and that, therefore, it should be studied, this being one of the themes at the center of the Brussels meeting.
“Portugal will defend that the possibility and advantages of the joint purchase of fuel be studied. It proved well in vaccines. It may prove to be a good idea. But, in addition to the joint purchase, there is something absolutely essential to do: it is to complete the internal market that it is, at the moment, fragmented”, he affirmed.
For Costa, the fragmentation of the European internal market means “solving the problem of interconnections” between Portugal and Spain, between the Iberian Peninsula and the whole of the EU and, within the whole of the EU, its own whole.
“And there is also a connection between Portugal and third countries. We can be a gateway to energy or clean transition energy coming from third countries,” he added when answering questions from Duarte Marques (PSD), Pedro Filipe Soares (BE ) , João Oliveira (PCP), João almeida (CDS), Nelson Silva (PAN), José Luís Ferreira (Greens), André Ventura (Chega) and João Cotrim de Figueiredo (IL).
Asserting himself in agreement with the Liberal Initiative (IL) deputy, Costa defended that Europe must diversify its energy sources, “because it cannot be dependent on Russia, Turkey, Algeria”, stressing the importance of the update and expansion of the port of Sines.
“The port of Sines is essential for us to be able to give a new security door to Europe. The interconnection with Morocco is essential. If we manage to produce renewable energy from solar sources at a lower cost, Morocco, for a greater reason, will succeed, and for our sakes via, it can supply and contribute decisively to Europe. It is a new door of cooperation with Africa that we can and must develop in terms of security in energy matters”, he maintained.
Without debate, and in response to Social Democrat Deputy Clara Marques Mendes, who raised the issue of migration, Costa manifested “total solidarity with refugees”, particularly with those from Afghanistan, stressing, however, that it is an issue that divides States Europeans.
“Migrations do divide the EU and I fear they will continue to divide. During our presidency [dos 27], after five years without any deliberation in the matter of migration, we adopted two fundamental decisions: the blue card, for legal emigration, and the installation of the Agency for Asylum. It is one of the themes that divide. I think that in the future, inevitably, we will only move forward in a variable geometry regime because there is an irreconcilable position between different states within the EU,” he said.
“So far, we have welcomed 251 refugees in Portugal, giving special attention to journalists, jurists, sportswomen, engineers, and we are still available to receive up to 1,000 Afghan refugees. Some of them are in transit. [para Portugal]”he added.
Another of the hot topics on the European Council’s agenda is linked to the situation of the rule of law in Poland, with André Ventura, from Chega, a question that Costa sees in the “EU attack” on the Polish authorities and questioning him about the reason for which did not criticize the German Constitutional Court before the approval of the appropriate funds to support post-pandemic covid-19 policies.
“There is a fundamental difference between the decision of the Constitutional Court of Poland and Germany. I do not agree with any. The German TC considers that a German Constitution had primacy over EU Private Law. What the Polish TC decided is that the The Constitution of Poland had prevailed over the Primary Law of the EU, in other words, over the Constitutional Treaty of the EU. And that is what forms a position of rupture between Poland and the EU, which I hope will be quickly reversed”, replied Costa.
The prime minister also guaranteed that Portugal will have “an active participation” in the analysis of the reform of economic governance in Europe, of which we are defenders, a theme that, however, will only exist on the agenda in another opportunity, the discussion of the future of Europe.
“The European Commission has either presented or is presenting in the coming days a proposal for a recommendation and Portugal is particularly active in this absolutely decisive debate for having a fairer Europe that can contribute to greater cohesion in the EU as a whole”, he concluded, responding to João Oliveira (PCP).
In the first working session of the Council, which starts on Thursday in Brussels at 15:00 local time (14:00 in Lisbon), in addition to the rule of law and energy prices, the 27 will also address the covid- 19, focusing on the issue of “international solidarity to ensure rapid delivery of vaccines to the countries most in need”.
The ‘menu’ of the working dinner also includes a “strategic discussion” on trade and “preparations for the next major summits”, such as COP26 on climate and COP15 on biodiversity.
On the second day of the European Council, on Friday, the leaders will return to the migration dossier, namely its external dimension, and will discuss the EU’s digital transition.