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2021-06-16 at 14h56

European Commission approves Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan

The Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa during the joint press conference with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, after approving the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan, Lisbon, 16 June 2021 (Photo: Lusa)

The Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen marked the approval of the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan, the first Member State to get the green light.

"Today is the day when hope becomes confidence, the certainty that we will relaunch the European Union’s recovery in a bold and robust manner", stated António Costa during the joint press conference with Ursula von der Leyen in the Knowledge Pavilion in Lisbon.

António Costa highlighted the way in which "Europe was able to get recovery underway" and underlined how the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union’s theme was met, "the time to act for a fair, green, and digital recovery".

"Now is the time to act internally to fulfil this plan, ensuring not only our country’s recovery, but above all its transformation, increasing the potential for growth, breaking down barriers on progress, guaranteeing a more competitive economy, more productive companies, more and better jobs, dignified and with rights", stated António Costa.

The Prime Minister noted that this is a "bold and transformative plan, with a long lasting and significant impact on the economy, the social fabric and throughout the whole territory and the lives of the Portuguese people". "It is a plan that doesn’t simply respond to the pain of the crisis; it allows us to move swifter and go beyond EU convergence", he added.

"It is above all a plan to change the daily life of the Portuguese, with a stronger National Health Service, more affordable housing, less inequality and greater quality of life for our elderly", he claimed.

António Costa further highlighted the "strategic investment in the forests and the sea, making climate change and digital transition the drivers of development" to help build a "more resilient country with our eyes cast on the future generations".

We start to build our future today

The Portuguese Prime Minister reiterated the importance of this plan for the construction of a better future for the coming generations: "Today, we start building our future. And the Ciência Viva [living science] school is a symbol of our strategic vision, investing in knowledge as the foundation for a more innovative country, one that is more prosperous and fairer".

Based on this goal, Portugal has two quantified objectives in mind: "We want to turn the 11 Ciência Viva schools into 20. And to the 237 Ciência Viva clubs, we will add another 650. We want to build a new generation, more motivated for sciences, committed to knowledge, more creative, more innovative and capable of driving an increasingly prosperous country".

António Costa noted the need to have mobilization across the whole of Portugal, from the Autonomous Regions to the citizens, including municipalities, the social sector, the science and technology system, and companies.

"The hard work truly starts now. The plan is demanding and its implementation system is not identical to the traditional one found in community funding. This plan is not a blank cheque. This plan is a commitment with targets, objectives and schedules. We know we must meet those targets, those objectives, yet for us that is not a difficulty, rather added motivation to comply with what we agreed today with the European Commission", he said.

The Prime Minister further claimed that Portugal was the first member State to have its Recovery and Resilience plan approved, which is "an honour and a huge responsibility". "Therefore, after being the first, we also want to be the best in bringing it to fruition, building a robust, green and digital future that leaves no one behind and is focused on the coming generations", he summed up.

Prime minister, Planning