Portuguese presidency of the EU Council

forums
  • economy
date
13-01-2021

Portugal officially assumed the rotating presidency of the Council of European Union on Friday, 1 January 2021, with a motto of “a fair, green and digital recovery”. 

 

We believe these topics are of great value to EDF. Thus, to follow, a comprehensive overview of the terms and implementation actions on the agenda which greatly appeal to our forum.

 

Resilient Europe - Promoting recovery, cohesion and European values

The Presidency will actively contribute to starting the implementation of:

  • the new MFF and Next Generation EU, with its Recovery and Resilience Facility, supporting national investment and reform plans;
  • SURE as temporary support instrument to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency; the sustainable finance strategy and related instruments;
  • InvestEU Programme, which will also contribute to economic recovery and to achieving the objectives for the climate and digital transitions.

Particular attention will be payed to the economic sectors most affected by the crisis, including tourism and to the promotion of innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness.

 

Digital Europe - Accelerating the digital transformation for citizens and businesses

The Presidency will prioritise initiatives that help accelerate the digital transition as a driver of economic recovery and promote European leadership in digital innovation and the digital economy.

In this context, attention should be paid to the universal development of digital skills, so that workers can adapt to new production processes (teleworking), to the digital transformation of businesses and digital platforms, to the areas of e-commerce, the promotion of health and disease prevention, and to distance learning in education and lifelong learning.

The modernisation of local government, highlighting the role of digitalisation in developing ‘smart cities’, will also be crucial.

 

 

Implementation Strategy

  • In order to increase European competitiveness, it is essential to strengthen the single market in all its dimensions, with a special focus to the promotion of digital services in the single market, notably through the Digital Services Act.

 

  1. exploiting synergies between sectors, value chains and Member States
  2. bringing knowledge production, technology and businesses closer together
  3. strengthening the network of digital innovation hubs.
  • The recovery of European value chains should be considered within the perspective of economic policy in all of its three strands – industry, competition and trade – and should contribute to cohesion within the Union and to mitigating regional asymmetries. To this end, the Presidency will work on the concept of ‘industrial ecosystems’ and stimulate creation of European clusters

 

  • SMEs will be the focus of the Presidency in the debate on adapting the regulatory framework for SMEs to today’s reality, which should stimulate digitalisation, the uptake of advanced technologies and new, more efficient business models, as well as participation in global value chains and human resources development.

 

  • The Presidency will give high priority to recovery and job creation in the tourism sector, which has been particularly affected by the pandemic. Thus, SMEs, restoring consumer confidence and a better coordination of measures on the free movement of persons, as well as to promoting a sustainable, innovative and resilient ecosystem, will be at the heart of the implementation strategy.

 

  • The Presidency will hold a high-level forum on sustainable tourism in Porto in May while highlighting the implementation of the results of the European Tourism Convention held in October 2020 and will support efforts to create a European innovation network to sustain the digital transformation through fostering a debate on big data and the free movement of such data as a source of tourism statistics, improving the supply of data available to businesses.

 

  • The Presidency intends to contribute to strengthening research and innovation (R&I) in Europe. To this end, it will encourage the coordination of efforts and synergies between European scientific, technological and innovation communities, and give visibility to the launch of the Horizon Europe programme in Lisbon, scheduled for February.

 

  • About digitalisation, Portuguese Presidency will advocate for a European vision of digital development, involving all actors in the digital ecosystem and reflecting all dimensions of the digital transformation, including the required follow-up to the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. In this context, they will stand for technology that works for people, and a fair and competitive economy that fully respects the values of a democratic, open and sustainable society.

 

  • They will strengthen European entrepreneurship by creating a European Entrepreneurship Structure and by promoting the EU Start-up Nations Standard.