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2021 Portuguese Presidency, Source: Presidência Portuguesa do Conselho da UE 2021 / Pedro Sá da Bandeira

New year – new EU Presidency

New year – new EU Presidency

Starting January 2021, it’s Portugal’s turn to take the helm of the Union

This month begins the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Iberian country is picking up the baton from Germany and there is a lot of expectations for the next six months in what can easily be a deeply transformative year.

The motto of Portugal’s Presidency, “Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery” says it all in a way. If 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus pandemic, then natural 2021 expresses everyone’s collective hopes that this will be the year of healing. And healing there needs to be on many fronts.

The logo can be seen as a sun and a helm alluding to the seafaring traditions of the small nation

The motto also directly states in a way what the priorities will be for the first six months of 2021 and what direction the EU has to be taking in order to come out of the multi-level crises relatively unscathed.

Three such priorities have been identified and the first one is encapsulated in the word that is probably most on everyone’s minds – Recovery. This will concern the implementation of the EU budgetary and financial instruments available to their maximum effect in order to make recovery in all its forms, not just economic, a tangible reality.

The other priority is the promotion of the European social welfare model as a pillar in the much-touted climate and digital transitions. Even European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has expressed firm support for that dimension of the Portuguese programme expressing a conviction that the Iberian leadership will do the right thing.

Finally, the Portuguese Government would also like to promote the Continent’s strategic autonomy while keeping it open to the world in what represents a sign of a desire to see a return to the vibrant globalization which took a hard hit in 2020.

Furthermore, the three priorities will be pursued along five lines of action called: Resilient Europe, Green Europe, Digital Europe, Social Europe and Global Europe.

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