Statement by European Parliament President Sassoli following meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Costa
During a joint press conference with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, European Parliament President David Sassoli stressed that strengthening Europe’s social model was key to Europe’s recovery post-COVID. Before the press conference, Prime Minister Costa took part in a meeting with President Sassoli and the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament.
President Sassoli stated:
“This is a pivotal month for Europe. We are waiting for the final agreement in the European Council on the MFF and recovery fund and to see if a deal can be reached with the UK on a future trade agreement.
“On the MFF and the recovery fund, I am in close contact with the German Presidency about the ongoing talks with the Polish and Hungarian governments. Last month, we reached an ambitious agreement on the package, delivering more money for key EU programmes and a strong rule of law mechanism. For the Parliament, this package is agreed and will not be reopened. There is no plan B. We trust the German Presidency to resolve the outstanding issues in the Council as soon as possible, so funds are available from the start of 2021.
“We had a very positive meeting with Prime Minister Costa today on the priorities for the coming six months. In particular, I agree completely on the need to strengthen Europe’s social model. This is particularly important post-COVID and in the transition to a greener and more digital Europe, we must ensure no one is left behind. I truly believe that the fourth Portuguese presidency will be a great success. Portuguese presidencies have been very important in the history of the European Union. They have always ensured Europe is more efficient and effective both in the organisation of the Union, the approach to economic and social issues, and also in the way Europe appears to the wider world. We need to build partnerships, not just be in competition, with other global players”.
Responding to a question on Brexit and the ratification process in the Parliament, President Sassoli said: “Throughout this mandate Parliament has always fulfilled its commitments in a fast and effective manner. If there is an agreement, it must be subject to proper democratic scrutiny. We are open and willing to organise an emergency plenary session over the Christmas holidays if it is necessary.”