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COVID economic recovery 'is key priority for Portugal's EU presidency'

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European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a media conference with Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa
European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a media conference with Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa   -   Copyright  Credit: AP
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A key priority of Portugal's tenure of the EU's rotating presidency must be to secure the continent's economic recovery from the impact of coronavirus.

They were the words of Charles Michel, president of the European Council, during a trip to Lisbon.

"There is hope again, but not just hope," said Michel. "We also have the ability to mobilise real financial resources."

Portugal took on the six-month presidency on January 1, taking over the reins from Germany.

Michel said the economy was not the only pressing issue on Portugal's agenda, dealing with climate change will also be crucial.

"The climate agreements will be a top priority right from the start of 2021," Michel said. "The EU’s targets for 2030 having been formally adopted in December last year, following the earlier endorsement of the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050.

"This level of ambition makes the EU a leader in tackling climate change and demonstrates our intention to use this issue as an opportunity to support increased development, greater prosperity and better living conditions."

Nicoletta Pirozzi, an EU affairs analyst at the Istituto Affari Internazionali told Euronews that revamping the multilateral order will also be key.

"At the European level and specifically for this presidency, the idea is really to revive multilateralism in this difficult period, also trying to leverage on the new position of the US administration," Pirozzi explained.

"On the other side, it will try to develop as much as possible new strategic partnerships with crucial actors for the European Union."