European commissioner Elisa Ferreira said today, at the Public Policy Forum 2021 at ISCTE in Lisbon, that European funds are the means and not the end, noting that, in the scope of the ‘bazooka’, the new exercise will be “stronger and more decisive”.
“Funds are just a means and not the end. The end are the goals we want to achieve as a country”, pointed out Elisa Ferreira. Noting that this is not the first time that the country is preparing to receive a package of funds, Elisa Ferreira stressed that this exercise “is stronger and more decisive”.
According to the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, the first big difference in relation to previous years concerns the amounts, since Portugal has never had such a high support package. “For the first years, we are talking about values to be managed three times higher than what Portugal was managing in previous periods”, she explained.
The second big difference compared to previous periods, as he pointed out, is that Portugal suffered a pandemic crisis, when it had not yet recovered from the financial crisis, adding that it was possible to mitigate the effects of the “almost stop” of the economy with the flexibility of the structural funds.
At the end of the forum, Elisa Ferreira also mentioned that the pandemic was a moment of reflection, but also an accelerator of trends. “We will be able to face important challenges with European financial support. This increases the responsibility and the weight of national choices in the near future”, she said. On the other hand, she highlighted that debates are beginning to focus not only on the quantity of funds, but also on their quality, and it is necessary to guarantee their scrutiny. In this sense, she considered that the launch of the Transparency Portal is a “very important step”, noting that it is necessary to continue on this path. “Without proper management, support loses much of its meaning”, she stressed.