“With deep sadness, the United Kingdom is no longer among us”, lamented Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues at the opening session of the Conference of Presidents of the Specialised Bodies on Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC).

In reference to Brexit, Ferro Rodrigues said it was necessary to “settle the dust of a process that was tumultuous”, hoping to “continue to work on a new relationship” with London.

In reaction, Lord Earl of Kinnoull, of the European Affairs committee of the House of Lords, assured in his speech that British parliamentarians are committed to “working on a new relationship” with their EU counterparts.

“Although with differences, we are united by values”, he said, thanking Capoulas Santos, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for European Affairs, “the opportunity” to intervene in the session.

In his speech, the President of the Assembly of the Republic (AR) also mentioned the future American administration, which will be led by Democrat Joe Biden, with whom Portugal “shares values” and intends to “strengthen Atlantic ties”.
Ferro Rodriguesalso highlighted the parliamentary organisation of three conferences during the Portuguese presidency of the EU, which takes place in this first semester: one on the Asylum and Migration Pact, another on the EU-Africa relationship and a third on democracy.

The President ofthe AR also warned of the dangers of “democratic step backward in the world”, being necessary to work “for a stronger and more cohesive Europe”.

This is the first of 11 conferences planned for the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU and the two main topics under discussion are the Priorities of the Portuguese Presidency and the EU Recovery and Resilience, with the participation of the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, and the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.