Ferro Rodrigues underline importance of energy interconnections

  • Lusa
  • 4 October 2021

Ferro Rodrigues and his Spanish counterpart inaugurated Monday the 9th Luso-Spanish Parliamentary Forum that will make the annual assessment of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The speaker of the Portuguese parliament stressed this Monday in Madrid that energy interconnections and cooperation in security and defence are some of the common challenges that Portugal and Spain have to face in Europe.

Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues and his Spanish counterpart, Meritxell Batet Lamana, inaugurated Monday the 9th Luso-Spanish Parliamentary Forum that will make the annual assessment of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Ferro Rodrigues recalled that the one-day meeting would also contribute to “help prepare” the Luso-Spanish summit, whose 32nd edition will take place next October 28 in Trujillo, in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura.

At this meeting between the governments of Portugal and Spain, “Portugal will continue to insist on energy interconnections,” Ferro Rodrigues said.

For several weeks the price of electricity has been breaking successive records on Mibel (Iberian Electricity Market), and the government leaders are concerned about the implications of this on the increase of household bills.

Ferro Rodrigues expressed “concern about the tension between Algeria and Morocco,” with the former country announcing its intention not to use the gas pipeline that crosses the latter, which “may have an increased negative impact on the supply and price of natural gas.”

In his speech, Ferro Rodrigues also referred to the “new challenges” in international security and defence, having reviewed the threats to stability that have appeared in various parts of the globe.

“In security and defence we face emerging challenges, reflecting new correlations of forces in the international community and the impact of new critical and emerging technologies,” said the president of the Portuguese parliament, adding that it is with concern that he sees “the foundations on which the multilateral, rules-based international order is based” being called into question.

Ferro Rodrigues also stressed the need for the two countries to continue working to solve the problems of the populations in the border areas between Portugal and Spain, with a “focus on the issues of local depopulation and the perceived remoteness of economic and social progress and prosperity.”

“It is fundamental that the two countries manage to respond to the problems of interiority and the demographic challenge. Without expectations for the future of life, we will not be able to keep local populations,” he stressed.

In her speech, the President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Meritxell Batet Lamana, referred to former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, who died recently, as a “convinced Europeanist” who knew the importance of meetings such as this forum for advances in European cooperation.

This morning’s opening speeches were followed by three panel discussions on the “common challenges” facing Portugal and Spain in Europe.

In them, issues related to energy interconnections, cooperation in security and defence, cross-border collaboration in the fight against depopulation and the demographic challenge, infrastructure, mobility, public services, economic development, digital innovation and environmental protection, and cooperation in education and culture are being addressed.

The closing ceremony of the 9th Luso-Spanish Parliamentary Forum, at which the speakers of the two legislative chambers will speak, is scheduled for 4:30 pm (3:30 pm in Lisbon).

This forum has been held since 2009, regularly bringing together delegations from the two institutions.