With the motto ‘Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery’, Portugal sets the tone of its Presidency of the EU Council.

The Presidency comes at a time where landmark agreements have been struck and have to be implemented.

On top of that list is the implementation of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 and of the Next Generation EU (NGEU), with its Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the approval and execution of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).

The importance of the promotion and recovery of EU industry has been described in the “Recovery Plan for a competitive industry in a resilient Europe”. It goes hand in hand with the 2 of the 3 priorities of the Presidency to:

  • promote a recovery leveraged by the climate and digital transitions;
  • strengthen Europe's autonomy whilst remaining open to the world, taking a leading role in climate action and promoting a digital transformation in the service of people.

Social Europe – a national competence

As a 3rd priority the Portuguese want to : implement the European Pillar of Social Rights of the European Union as a distinctive element for ensuring a fair and inclusive climate and digital transition.

The aim is to strengthen the European social model that includes an inclusive green and digital transition. The highlight will be the Social Summit in May. The aim is to create a political momentum for the action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The conflict of the action plan lies in the fact that the subject is a national competence and that the European Pillar of Social Rights of Göteborg in 2017 is a Proclamation and not binding law.

From Brexit to Future Relationship

The negotiations on a future trade and cooperation with the UK concluded with an agreement on December 24th .

While Ceemet has welcomed the announcement of a deal struck between the EU and the UK, the devil will be in the detail. The European Parliament as well as many other stakeholders will need the requisite time to analyse this agreement to ensure it delivers a solution which is in the best interests of industries on both sides of the Channel.

Portugal's Presidency will have to guide through the approval process and to build a strong partnership with the UK.