Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, January to June 2021

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Publication Date 2020-2021
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Information Guide providing an overview relating to the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, which runs from 1 January to 30 June 2021.

Further information:

The Portuguese Council Presidency is the second of the Presidency Trio which also includes Germany and Slovenia. This is the fourth occasion in which Portugal holds the rotating Council Presidency (previous occasion took place in 2007). The motto of this Presidency is Time to Deliver: a fair, green, digital recovery.

This Presidency plans were strongly influenced by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Its context included the aftermath of the discussions over the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-27 (including the Recovery Plan for Europe), the end of the transition period following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (EU) and a new political leadership in the United States of America (USA).

Among others, the main priorities set out by the Portuguese Presidency are as follows:

  • Economic recovery following the crisis caused by the pandemic;
  • Strategic autonomy of the European Union;
  • Green and digital transitions;
  • Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR);
  • EU's role in the world (including trade agreements and bilateral EU-India summit).

The Portuguese Presidency also signalled the intention to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The President and College of European Commissioners visited the Presidency headquarters on 15 January 2021 for the launch of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On the same day, a Social Summit was announced for May 2021 in Porto. On 20 January, the Portuguese Prime Minister discussed the priorities of this Presidency with the plenary of the European Parliament. These priorities were also outlining by different Portuguese ministers during hearings with relevant parliamentary committees throughout January.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Ceemet: News, 23/09/2020: Preparing the Portuguese Presidency of the European Council https://www.ceemet.org/news/preparing-portuguese-presidency-european
ECFR: Policy Brief, 26/10/2020: Crisis presidency: How Portuguese leadership can guide the EU into the post-covid era https://ecfr.eu/publication/how_portuguese_leadership_can_guide_the_eu_into_the_post-covid_era/
TEPSA: TEPSA recommendations to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU (November 2020) http://www.tepsa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/TEPSA-Recommendations-to-the-Portuguese-Presidency.pdf
EPRS: Briefing, January 2021: Priority dossiers under the Portuguese EU Council Presidency https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2021)659434
Politico, 11/01/2021: Portuguese people to know in the Brussels Bubble https://www.politico.eu/article/portuguese-people-to-know-brussels-bubble-eu-presidency/
IIEA: Events, 13/01/2021: Priorities of the Portuguese EU Presidency - Address of the Portuguese Foreign Affairs Minister https://www.iiea.com/past-events/priorities-of-the-portuguese-eu-presidency/
ING Think: Article, 14/01/2021: Portugal’s priorities as it takes over the EU presidency https://think.ing.com/articles/portugal-leading-europe-for-six-months
META by EBB, 14/01/2021: Portugal takes over the EU Presidency from Germany: Time to Deliver a Green Recovery https://meta.eeb.org/2021/01/14/portugal-takes-over-the-eu-presidency-from-germany-time-to-deliver-a-green-recovery/
EUObserver: Opinion, 02/02/2021: Will Portugal fix EU's defence and security policy? https://euobserver.com/opinion/150782

ECO News, 28/09/2020: Commission president sees ‘good results’ from Portuguese EU presidency https://econews.pt/2020/09/28/commission-president-sees-good-results-from-portuguese-eu-presidency/
EurActiv, 22/10/2020: Incoming Portuguese Presidency calls for ‘significant’ investment into e-Government https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/incoming-portuguese-presidency-calls-for-significant-investment-into-e-government/
EurActiv, 28/10/2020: Portugal EU presidency to present ‘Charter of Digital Rights’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/portugal-eu-presidency-to-present-charter-of-digital-rights/
LUSA, 11/11/2020: Portugal: Implementation of Recovery Fund among main goals of EU presidency https://www.lusa.pt/article/W4_RawR5FVKhlSGupNsBHjMSZM5iuSI1/portugal-implementation-of-recovery-fund-among-main-goals-of-eu-presidency
ECO News, 26/11/2020: EU Presidency wants immediate response to crisis, long-term vision https://econews.pt/2020/11/26/eu-presidency-wants-immediate-response-to-crisis-long-term-vision/
EUObserver, 27/11/2020: Portuguese presidency to focus on social rights and India https://euobserver.com/institutional/150203
EurActiv, 30/11/2020: Ahead of EU presidency, Portuguese say reaching budget deal is ‘fundamental’ https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/ahead-of-eu-presidency-portuguese-say-reaching-budget-deal-is-fundamental/
Reuters, 01/12/2020: COVID-19 vaccine is top priority for Portugal's EU presidency, PM says https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN28B61V
Jornal Económico, 01/12/2020: António Costa: “there is no plan B” to block the European Union budget https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/en/news/antonio-costa-there-is-no-plan-b-for-blocking-the-budget-of-the-european-union-671267
EurActiv, 01/12/2020: Portuguese presidency wants to strengthen trust in EU social model https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/portuguese-presidency-wants-to-strengthen-trust-in-eu-social-model/
LUSA, 02/12/2020: Portugal: 'Essential for EU financial framework to be approved by European Council' - prime minister https://www.lusa.pt/article/wDObw_sOl7PgdpJe5gUTojMSZM5iuSI1/portugal-essential-for-eu-financial-framework-to-be-approved-by-european-council-prime-minister
EurActiv, 03/12/2020: Portugal refuses to reopen EU budget negotiations https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/portugal-refuses-to-reopen-eu-budget-negotiations/
Reuters, 04/12/2020: Portugal says "unacceptable" to block EU recovery funds https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN28E1U9
ECO News, 04/12/2020: Portuguese Presidency to begin at “very difficult moment” – Věra Jourová https://econews.pt/2020/12/04/portuguese-presidency-to-begin-at-very-difficult-moment-vera-jourova/
EUObserver, 15/12/2020: Portugal will refocus EU on social rights, PM says https://euobserver.com/political/150383
Euronews, 01/01/2021: Portugal takes on EU's rotating presidency from Germany https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/01/portugal-takes-on-eu-s-rotating-presidency-from-germany
Deutsche Welle, 01/01/2021: Portugal's EU presidency to focus on social justice https://p.dw.com/p/3nL1G
Reuters, 05/01/2021: 'Solidarity cannot be voluntary': Portugal begins talks on EU migration pact https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN29A2SE
Reuters, 06/01/2021: EU's landmark climate law to be finalised within months, Portugal says https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL4N2JH30P
EurActiv, 07/01/2020: Portugal aims for EU to seal Mercosur, progress with other trade deals https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/eu-chair-portugal-aims-to-seal-mercosur-trade-deal/
Reuters, 07/01/2021: EU fiscal rules must remain flexible until 2022 - Portugal finance minister https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL8N2JH4CC
EurActiv, 07/01/2021: Portugal vies to push ahead with new EU digital regulation https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/portugal-vies-to-push-ahead-with-new-eu-digital-regulation/1552288/
Climate Home News, 08/01/2021: Portugal makes deal on EU climate law ‘big priority’ of its six-month presidency https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/01/08/portugal-makes-deal-eu-climate-law-big-priority-six-month-presidency/
IFLA Europe: News, 14/01/2021: Portugal takes over EU Presidence: ‘Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery’ https://iflaeurope.eu/index.php/site/news-single/portugal-takes-over-eu-presidence-time-to-deliver-a-fair-green-and-digital-recovery
Politico, 17/01/2021: 3 EU commissioners self-isolate after meeting Portuguese minister https://www.politico.eu/article/3-eu-commissioners-self-isolate-after-meeting-portuguese-minister-coronavirus/
EurActiv, 22/01/2021: Israel urges Portugal to rekindle EU links https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-priorities-2020/news/portugal-should-bolster-eu-israel-links-envoy-says/1557970/
Hungary Today, 23/01/2021: Justice Minister: Hungary Expects Portuguese EU Presidency to Act as Mediators https://hungarytoday.hu/justice-minister-portuguese-eu-presidency-mediators-rule-of-law/
EurActiv, 01/02/2021: EU must step up military assistance to Mozambique, says Portuguese presidency https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/eu-must-step-up-military-assistance-to-mozambique-says-portuguese-presidency/

Official Website of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (2021) https://www.2021portugal.eu/en/
General Secretariat of the Council: The presidency of the Council of the EU https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/presidency-council-eu/
General Secretariat of the Council: Taking forward the Strategic Agenda - 18-month Programme of the Council (1 July 2020 - 31 December 2021) https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-8086-2020-REV-1/en/pdf
Portuguese Council Presidency: Priorities of the Presidency https://www.2021portugal.eu/en/programme/priorities/
European Parliament: Multimedia Centre Packages: Portuguese Presidency https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/portuguese-presidency_17004_pk
European Commission: Press statement by President von der Leyen ahead of her meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Costa (28 September 2020) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_1768
Portuguese Government: News, 23/11/2020: Social Summit will be the main event of the Portuguese EU Presidency https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc22/comunicacao/noticia?i=cimeira-social-sera-o-evento-central-da-presidencia-portuguesa-da-uniao-europeia
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: News, 26/11/2020: Visit by Mr Clément Beaune to Portugal (Lisbon, 25 and 26 November 2020) https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/portugal/events/article/portugal-visit-by-mr-clement-beaune-to-portugal-25-26-nov-2020
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel at the joint press conference with Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa (1 December 2020) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/12/01/remarks-by-president-charles-michel-at-the-joint-press-conference-with-prime-minister-of-portugal-antonio-costa/
German Federal Government: News, 30/12/2020: Portugal will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Germany https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en/news/portugal-will-take-over-the-presidency-of-the-council-of-the-european-union-from-germany-1833470
European Council: Remarks by President Charles Michel at the press conference with Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa in Lisbon (5 January 2021) https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/01/05/intervention-du-president-charles-michel-lors-de-la-conference-de-presse-avec-le-premier-ministre-portugais-antonio-costa-a-lisbonne/
European Commission: Press Release, 15/01/2021: Commission and Portuguese Presidency announce Social Summit in Porto https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_101
European Commission: Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with Prime Minister Costa on the occasion of the College visit to the Portuguese Presidency (15 January 2021) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_21_122
European Parliament: Press Release, 20/01/2021: Portuguese Presidency wants EU to deliver on vaccines, recovery and transition https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210114IPR95630/
European Commission: Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the presentation of the programme of activities of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU (20 January 2021) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_21_168
Norwegian Government: News, 26/01/2021: Meeting between Prime Minister Solberg and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/meeting-between-prime-minister-solberg-and-portuguese-prime-minister-antonio-costa/id2829987/
EU EMCDDA: News, 28/01/2021: EU presidency: Portugal focuses on Europe’s recovery and chairs activities in the field of drugs https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2021/portuguese-presidency-eu-and-drugs_en
European Parliament: Press Release, 28/01/2021: Portuguese Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20210122IPR96228/

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