New defence minister signals time to affirm Portugal “as credible security actor”
Portugal’s new minister of defence Helena Carreiras has today set the “modernisation of the armed forces”, the rapprochement between society and the military and the “affirmation of Portugal in the world as a credible security actor” as priorities of her mandate.
In a video message posted on her ministry’s official Twitter account, Ms Carreiras said it was “with great pride and sense of responsibility” that she assumed her new duties.
Listing three priorities for the sector, she began by stating that “the ongoing war in Ukraine has made even more evident the role of the armed forces in preventing and responding to conflicts, and in promoting peace.”
“In the current context, our first priority will be to reaffirm the importance of national defence in Portuguese society, promoting the modernisation of the armed forces,” she said.
“This is done by valuing people and the military condition, attracting and retaining talent, but also by strengthening capabilities and equipment, investing in dual-use programmes that create wealth for the Portuguese economy”.
Ms Carreiras also stated that she has a “particular commitment” for the “second priority” – namely the need to “promote closer ties between society and the armed forces“.
“It is essential that we develop a culture of shared defence, through a greater connection with universities, schools, young people, companies, cultural institutions and heritage,” she said, adding that the two priorities are “foundation of a third: the affirmation of Portugal in the world as a credible security actor“.
“We have been – and, as far as I am concerned, we will continue to be – reliable allies and partners in security and defence matters. I am sure that both the military personnel serving in Portugal and our national forces will continue to do us proud in all theatres of operation, honouring the reputation of the Portuguese military.”
The minister affirmed Portugal will continue to commit itself “fully to cooperation in the field of defence”, particularly with regard to partners and friends of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
“I thank the men and women – military personnel, militarised civilians of national defence – for choosing to serve Portugal. We are together in this mission,” she concluded.