Commissioner acknowledges ‘slow progress’ on migration pact

The European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson has acknowledged that progress on the new Pact for Migration and Asylum, proposed by the European Commission in September, has been "slow".

EU approves strengthened civil protection mechanism

EU member states on Monday (10 May) approved a strengthened EU Civil Protection Mechanism, with new rules to better prepare for emergencies like forest fires, and more resources allowing a faster response to new threats such as pandemics.

Portuguese PM: ’unfair’ to blame Germany for vaccine patent stance

Portugal's Prime Minister on Monday (10 May) considered arguments that blame Germany for the EU’s less open position on the lifting of patents on COVID-19 vaccines "unfair", stressing that most member states follow the same line.
Economy & Jobs 10-05-2021

France ready to pick up the baton on EU minimum wage proposal

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday (8 May) that Paris was ready to pick up the baton on the EU’s minimum wage proposal if an agreement cannot be reached during the Portuguese EU presidency, which ends on 1 July.

Commission has ‘plan B’ if Portugal’s presidency ends with no minimum wage consensus

The European Commission is considering future presidencies after Portugal's presidency as a 'plan B' should Portugal fail to reach consensus in the Council on the definition of minimum wages, according to EU Employment Commissioner Nicolas Schmit.

Schmit: ‘Real problem’ that ‘too few’ social rights exist in EU

European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, underlined on Friday (7 May) that it is a real problem that "too few" social rights exist, calling for a collective duty of the EU to provide concrete answers to citizens.

ILO wants investment in training, social protection

It is necessary to invest in training people, social protection and new forms of green and digital work, considering that Europe has enormous possibilities to do so, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, urged on Friday...

EU Council chief expects an ‘important new chapter’ with India

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said on Wednesday (5 May) he hoped that the summit between leaders of the EU and India would open an "important new chapter" between Brussels and New Delhi, despite the "dramatic scenario" of the pandemic.

China Atlantic base would spark ‘strong concern’, Portuguese minister says

Any Chinese military base in the Atlantic Ocean is unnecessary and any such hypothesis would be viewed with "strong concern", Portugal's minister of defence, João Gomes Cravinho, has said, adding that it was "not a good idea" to transform this region into a scenario of "geopolitical conflict".

Portugal-India summit postponed until leaders can attend in person

The EU-India bilateral summit which had been planned to take place during Portugal's presidency of the Council of the EU has been postponed until the leaders involved can attend in person, Portugal's minister of foreign affairs confirmed on Tuesday (5 May).
Economy & Jobs 04-05-2021

Fourteen EU countries have submitted recovery plans, 13 still to go

The European Commission has received national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRP) from 14 countries to access the bloc's €750 billion recovery fund. 13 of the EU's 27 member states are still missing from the list.

Juncker: If Costa can’t succeed at social summit, no one can

Jean-Claude Juncker believes that Portugal will be able to achieve concrete results at the Porto Social Summit, commenting that if Prime Minister António Costa is not successful, "no one will be, because he is one of the best".

Schmit hopes for agreement on EU minimum wages by June

Member states will hopefully reach a common position on the definition of EU minimum wages before the end of Portugal’s presidency of the Council, which runs until June, European Commissioner for employment, Nicolas Schmit, told, highlighting the “efforts” made...
EU-China 03-05-2021

Juncker: EU has to be ‘less naive’ with China

Former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker believes the European Union has to be "less naive" with China, saying that "Europeans have to organise their relations" better with other foreign powers.

European Commission looks forward to clinching travel pass with EU Parliament

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday (29 April) welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of its negotiating position on plans for a digital pass proving COVID-19 testing, recovery or vaccination to facilitate travel, pending negotiations with the Portuguese EU Council presidency of the Council of the European Union.

EU Parliament approves reform of civil protection mechanism

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday (27 April) a strengthened legal framework for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to ensure that the EU is better prepared "to respond to future large-scale emergencies".

‘Act without delay’ to help EU tourism, Portugal urges

Portugal has urged member states and EU institutions to "act without delay" to support European tourism to recover from the crisis, also calling for rapid progress in the creation of the green passport.

Portugal wants €750 billion EU bazooka fund available before August

The Portuguese EU Council presidency is working so that the process of releasing the €750 trillion from the EU's post-pandemic Recovery Fund can be shortened by at least one month.

Von der Leyen calls for African green deal

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Friday called for the creation of an African Green Deal which, like the European Green Deal, would be the "centrepiece" for Africa's recovery.
Energy 23-04-2021

Brussels urges 27 to ‘make the most’ of energy efficiency funds

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, said on Thursday (22 April) that member states should take advantage of the European Union's historic €1.8 trillion budget and recovery fund to invest in energy efficiency.
Energy 23-04-2021

New European Bauhaus ‘crucially important’ for EU climate goals

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa has said that the European initiative called the New European Bauhaus was of crucial importance to ensure that the bloc achieved its climate goals.

Commissioner: EU institutions to speak with ‘one voice’ at Future of Europe conference

European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica has underlined that the three European institutions - Parliament, Council and Commission - will speak with "one voice" through the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy-efficient buildings should be ‘new normal’, says EU’s Simson

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, on Tuesday (20 April) underlined the importance of the 'Renovation Wave' strategy in combating energy poverty in the European Union, saying that sustainable, energy-efficient buildings should be "the new normal".
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy poverty ‘likely to increase’ once bank moratoriums are lifted

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Tuesday (20 April) called for "coordinated action" across the European Union to tackle energy poverty, warning that poverty is "likely" to increase once bank moratoriums are lifted.