Image of a previous Council of State by José Caria

Council of State meets today with US climate envoy John Kerry as guest

Meeting is just one of many events taking place in Lisbon this week

This week sees Lisbon full of international events and happenings – from the United Nations Oceans Conference, bringing together countries and political heavyweights from all over the world, to the European Central Bank Forum in Sintra, the 10th Lisbon Legal Forum in the city centre – and a Council of State, the political body headed by the president of Portugal.

Taking advantage of the presence of the United States special climate envoy John Kerry at the Oceans conference, President Marcelo has invited him to take part in today’s Council of State at a crucial moment on the geopolitical stage.

NATO has just agreed to increase its defensive presence within eastern European countries (on the request of those countries) in what has been described as “the biggest overhaul of collective defence and deterrence since the Cold War”.

The Council of State however has been billed to be concentrating on “the prospects, challenges and opportunities of combating climate change and energy transition”.

As Lusa explains, since taking office in March 2016, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa “has innovated by inviting national and foreign personalities to the meetings of his consultative political body”, also making the meetings more frequent.

This will be the 25th meeting Marcelo has presided over, and the first since he swore in the XXIII constitutional government, headed by António Costa, on March 30 this year.

The previous meeting was held on March 14 and focused on the situation in Ukraine. It ended with a condemnation of the aggression by the Russian Federation launched on February 24.

The Council of State has as the speaker of parliament, the prime minister, the president of the constitutional court, the ombudsman and presidents of Portugal’s regional governments as well as former presidents of Portugal as its inherent members. It also includes five members elected by parliament, in accordance with the principle of proportional representation, for the duration of the legislature.

When he began his second mandate on March 9, 2021, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa appointed writer Lídia Jorge as a Councillor of state and reappointed former CDS-PP party leader, António Lobo Xavier, former PSD party president and regular SIC television commentator, Luís Marques Mendes, president of Lisbon’s Champalimaud Foundation, Leonor Beleza, and neuroscientist António Damásio.

Following the legislative elections earlier this year, the parliament elected Carlos César, Manuel Alegre and António Sampaio da Nóvoa, nominated by the PS – and Francisco Pinto Balsemão and Miguel Cadilhe, appointed by the PSD, to the Council of State.

These councillors will be sitting for the first time today.

The meeting is scheduled for 4.30pm at Cascais’ Palace of Cidadela.

Source: LUSA