President calls Council of State to discuss enlargement of European Union
President Marcelo. Image: José Coelho/ Lusa

President calls Council of State to discuss enlargement of European Union

This will be 27th Council of State convened by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has called a meeting of the Council of State for Tuesday at 10:30am at the Cidadela Palace in Cascais. According to a note on the official site of the Presidency, the sole item on the agenda is to be: “European Union: the enlargement process and the process of financial and economic reform”.

The meeting follows a vote in Brussels yesterday to welcome Croatia into the Schengen area, but not yet admit Bulgaria or Romania.

It also comes in the context that European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has been very positive about the prospect of accepting new countries into the Union (like Ukraine, and the Balkans) although other political leaders, particularly Portugal’s prime minister António Costa, have been more reticent. 

The last Council of State came in October when the agenda included an “analysis of the economic and social situation in Portugal”.

Presided over by the President Marcelo, the Council of State involves the presidents of the Assembly of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Ombudsman, the presidents of Portugal’s regional governments and the former presidents of the Republic.

In accordance with the Constitution, the Council also includes five citizens designated by the Head of State, for the duration of his mandate, and five 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 counselor of state, and reappointed the former leader of the CDS-PP António Lobo Xavier, former president of the PSD and regular SIC television commentator Luís Marques Mendes, president of the Champalimaud Foundation, Leonor Beleza, and neuroscientist António Damásio.

Following the elections of January 30 this year, the Assembly of the Republic 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.

Occasionally visiting dignitaries are invited to take part in Councils of State. This time it doesn’t appear to be the case.

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