The President of the European Commission cited Portugal as an example of having “effectively changed its energy mix for a more sustainable outcome” and “particularly Lisbon as a reference in the digital world”.

Von der Leyen therefore considered the post-Pandemic Recovery Fund to be “tailor-made for Portugal” and was convinced that it would serve to “stimulate” the economy by protecting businesses and jobs.

The President of the Brussels Executive said the Commission and the Portuguese government were “in close contact” on the development of the strategic recovery and resilience plan, stressing that it was “in tune with the EU’s environmental and digital priorities”.

Von der Leyen highlighted the work done by the Commission to respond to the crisis, which allowed an agreement to be reached with 27 mobilising resources “of unprecedented magnitude”, and pointed to Portugal as a “key partner” in this work.

She assured that the Commission, as an intermediary, the Council and the European Parliament are “working hard” to move forward in the “difficult negotiations” on the 2021-2027 budget and the associated recovery fund, and that everyone “knows what is at stake”. She added: “that the pandemic is not over, we will have to live with the virus and this will have a very strong impact on our economies”.

When there is a final agreement and the subsequent ratification process by national parliaments is completed, “the Commission will take the money from the markets”.“It is now up to us to invest it properly and responsibly,” she concluded.