President Marcelo pressures government in ‘race against time’ to prepare for Brussels’ billions

President Marcelo has been talking to national radio Antena 1 today saying time is of the essence in preparing for the longed-for EU bazooka of post-pandemic funding.

Various entities will be involved in ‘scrutinising’ Portugal’s plans, and ensuring money is spent correctly, but there are still all kinds of details to sort – not least definition of the roles for example of the CCDR (Commission for Coordination and Development) and the CIM (intermunicipal councils). 

“People have no idea the number of entities (that will be involved)”, Marcelo told the programme “Geometrica Variável”. “This is good in terms of transparency. But it requires a conjugation of efforts that will intervene step-by-step in the execution (of funding)”.

“The Commission will be very rigorous, but then there are national bodies – not just the Accounts Court and the general inspectorate of finances – but monitoring schemes established by the government, and then there is parliament…” All these bodies have to scrutinise plans in time for the first ‘evaluation of execution of funds’ at the end of 2023.

It may sound like some time away, but given all the processes Europe’s money would have to go through before being applied, Marcelo describes it as a ‘race against time’.

“2022 and 2023 will be decisive”, he insisted. The capacity of the government will need to be “very, very efficient, competent and transparent… and above all, one hopes, decentralised…”

It has long been explained that President Marcelo has a vested interest in the bazooka (or PRR, Plan for Recovery and Resilience) . He is keen to see his 10-year mandate recognised as the point at which Portugal’s fortunes, and international standing, finally transform for the better.

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