President expects ‘controls’ on use of EU recovery funds

  • Lusa
  • 8 July 2022

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa expects "that there will be control" of the use of money from the country's Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP).

Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has said that he expects “that there will be control” of the use of money from the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) to spend European Union post-pandemic recovery funds, since “there are lots of entities” charged with doing so.

“With so many entities to control, I hope there is control,” de Sousa told journalists at the end of a visit to a factory in Mangualde, in Viseu district.

The head of state then listed the entities: the Court of Auditors, the office of public prosecutions, a subcommittee of parliament, “an entity of the very system of monitoring the application of European funds” and the European Commission.

“I have insisted, from the outset, that this monitoring was very important, in order to ensure that the funds are used on time and at a significant rate,” he recalled.

This monitoring is also important “to comply with the rules of the game, in legal terms and in terms of options, of political choices,” he stressed.

Asked about the proposed revision of the rules of procedure of parliament to require the prime minister to appear in plenary once a month to take questions – de Sousa said that “anything that is moving forward is good” – a reference to the fact that currently there is no such requirement at all.

“But I would not like to discuss … the internal life of parliament,” he said. “If parliament leans towards improving the process of debate and control – very well, I think all the Portuguese are happy.

“How does it do it? With the agreement and consensus of as many parliamentarians and parties, then it is up to [parliament] to have the decisive say,” he concluded.