Approval given without presence of prime minister and other Cabinet members
Portugal’s Supreme Council on National Defence (CSDN) has unanimously approved a “new mission in the Mediterranean”, readjustments to Portuguese forces deployed in 2022, and also addressed ‘Portugal’s support to Ukraine’.
According to a note published on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic, the consultation body met yesterday at the president’s palace in Belém, Lisbon, under the chairmanship of Portugal’s head of state, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “and unanimously gave a favourable opinion, to a new mission in the Mediterranean and readjustments limited to the proposal of deployed national forces for 2022, approved on 26 November 2021.
“In addition, Portugal’s support to Ukraine was addressed,” the note adds.
Contacted by Lusa news agency, an official source said the mission in the Mediterranean called ‘Noble Shield’, and aims to “strengthen the presence and deterrence” of the Atlantic Alliance in this region.
According to an official source for the Presidency, the meeting was not attended by prime minister António Costa, nor finance minister Fernando Medina.
Duarte Cordeiro, minister for the environment and climate action and Pedro Nuno Santos, minister for infrastructures and housing were represented by their secretaries of state.
The presidents of the regional governments of the Azores and Madeira were also absent, as was the PS ruling party’s parliamentary representative Francisco César.
The Supreme Council of National Defence is a specific collegiate body that consults the President of the Republic on matters relating to national defence and the organisation, functioning and discipline of the Armed Forces.
This body officially comprises the prime minister, the ministers of state and of national defense, foreign affairs, interior, finance and those responsible for the areas of industry, energy, transport and communications; the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the heads of the Navy, Army and Air Force. It also includes representatives of the Republic and the presidents of the governments of the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira, the president of the national defence commission of parliament and two other members of parliament – but is clearly able to approve matters in the absence of any number of these members
The CSDN last met in June, when the revision of NATO’s Strategic Concept was discussed and a presentation made on Portugal’s support to Ukraine in the context of the conflict.