"Our objective is very simple: to establish the best possible conditions, both from a programmatic and practical point of view, so that the dialogue with the European Commission allows the plan to be among the first to be presented, discussed and approved," Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said in statements to journalists in Brussels.

Augusto Santos Silva spoke after meeting with the executive vice-presidents of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and Frans Timmermans, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (Cohesion and Reforms) and Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, as part of the preparation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

This is the strategic document in which Portugal is to report on the reforms and investments it intends to make using the 'slice' of almost €15 billion that will be allocated from the post-Covid-19 EU Recovery Fund, agreed on last July.

"The initial and preliminary version of the national resilience plans can be presented in mid-October," the head of diplomacy assured.

And this final version, which "results from the dialogue between the country and the European institutions, from the outset the European Commission", will be "delivered as soon as possible", that is, at the beginning of next year, according to Augusto Santos Silva.

"In the end, it is the Portuguese authorities that approve [...] and we are all working so that the plan can be on the ground from January next year," he noted.

Accompanied by Planning Minister Nelson de Souza and Finance Secretary João Nunes Mendes, Augusto Santos Silva stressed that "this is an opportunity that neither the country nor Europe can afford to miss.