Portugal wants more time to complete EU 'bazooka' investments
Photo: Dušan Cvetanović/Pexels

Portugal wants more time to complete EU ‘bazooka’ investments

Government wants EU to relax PRR investment deadlines

Portugal’s government has sent Brussels a document that “summarises the national priorities” for the European Commission in 2023 and that proposes the relaxation of the deadlines for completing the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR, commonly referred to as the EU ‘bazooka’) investments until after 2026.

“Without modifying the calendar set for the reforms provided for in the PRR, nor the respective milestones and targets, the timing of implementation of investments should be made more flexible, both in terms of their pace of implementation and the respective deadline for completion,” reads the document published today on the government’s website.

Weekly newspaper Expresso reported today that prime minister António Costa has written a letter to the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to highlight Portugal’s priorities, which is accompanied by this document (“Portugal’s Priorities for the European Commission Work Programme 2023”).

The 13-page document suggests that investments funded by the PRRs (not the reforms) “could end beyond 2026”.

“This is an amendment that is imposed due to the prevailing economic circumstances that could not be anticipated on the date of approval of the regulation on the RRM” (Recovery and Resilience Mechanism), justifies the government.

António Costa’s government points out that there is “a truly anomalous economic situation, characterised by high inflation, by the persistent disruption of supply chains and by the scarcity or cost of raw materials”.

The document is divided into “major priorities” and “sectoral policy measures”, including digital transition, cohesion, foreign policy, defence, migration and health.

The text which, according to the government portal, will be “presented soon”, has “the backing of the soundings” of institutional partners and a consultation process with civil society, so that “the national priorities now identified are the most representative of the interests and needs of our nation”.

“The government thus believes it can increase Portugal’s capacity to influence the decision-making process of the European Union,” says the office of the secretary of state for European Affairs, quoted by the portal.

Source: Lusa