“The European solution is the best solution and the one that best protects the interests of the European Union and the Member States, especially those that are not large economies”, argued Augusto Santos Silva, Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, while speaking today on the common vaccination strategy coordinated by the European Commission. In a debate with members of the Portuguese Parliament in the European Affairs Commission, Santos Silva pointed out that the advantage of this vaccination strategy lies in the fact that not only is there a common vaccine acquisition process, but also “the distribution to the Member States is according to one single criterion: population”.
On the economic and social front of the fight against the consequences of the pandemic, the Minister for Foreign Affairs highlighted the signing of the European Recovery and Resilience Facility, concluded last week by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. “The facility is ready to be activated and there are now two parallel processes that are priorities for the Portuguese Presidency of the Council”, he went on to explain.
On the one hand, all the Member States must conclude their internal ratification process for the European Union's Own Resources Decision. Eight Member States, including Portugal, have already done so, but the Presidency expects the process to be concluded in all 27 Member States during the spring. “It is precisely the conclusion of this process that will allow the European Commission, on behalf of all the Member States, to contract loans in the markets to fund the national recovery plans”, Santos Silva added. At the same time, all EU countries must work on their national recovery plans, focusing on concrete reforms that will allow them to leverage the recovery processes for national and European economies.