Government wants EU to consider pooling fuel purchases

  • Lusa
  • 21 October 2021

The country will defend at the European Council meeting studying the possibility and advantages of joint purchasing of fuel within the 27 Member States, according to António Costa.

Portugal will defend in Brussels, at the European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday, studying the possibility and advantages of joint purchasing of fuel within the 27 Member States, the Portuguese prime minister said.

At the end of the preparatory parliamentary debate on the European Council, held in the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon, António Costa recalled that the model “worked well” on the issue of vaccines against Covid-19 and that, therefore, it should be studied, and this is one of the issues at the centre of the meeting in Brussels.

“In addition to joint purchasing, there is something that is absolutely fundamental to do: complete the internal market, which is currently fragmented,” he said.

For Costa, the fragmentation of the European internal market means “solving the problem of interconnections” between Portugal and Spain, between the Iberian Peninsula and the EU as a whole, and within the EU as a whole.

“And there is also Portugal’s connection to third countries. We can be a gateway for clean energy or clean transition energy coming from third countries”.

Costa argued that Europe must diversify its energy sources, “as it cannot be dependent on Russia, Turkey, Algeria”, highlighting the importance of the renovation and expansion of the port of Sines.

“The port of Sines is fundamental if we are to provide a new safety gateway to Europe. The interconnection with Morocco is fundamental. If we can produce renewable energy of solar origin at a lower cost, Morocco, through us, will be able to supply and contribute decisively to Europe. It is a new door of cooperation with Africa that we can and should develop in order to have security in energy matters”, he said.

In the first working session of the Council, which begins on Thursday in Brussels at 15:00 local time (14:00 in Lisbon), in addition to the rule of law and energy prices, the 27 will also address the pandemic, focusing on the issue of “international solidarity, to ensure the rapid delivery of vaccines to countries most in need”.

The working dinner menu also includes a “strategic discussion” on trade and “preparations for important upcoming summits” such as the COP26 on climate and the COP15 on biodiversity.

On the second day of the European Council on Friday, leaders will return to the migration dossier, notably its external dimension, and discuss the EU’s digital switchover.