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Costa ‘respects Meloni’s vote against him’ and will fight for consensus at European Council

Costa ‘respects Meloni’s vote against him’ and will fight for consensus at European Council

António Costa traveled to Brussels the day after he was elected President of the European Council and met at the airport the candidates for the other two EU positions. He told the Portuguese press that the Portuguese politician is promising to build consensus and is already preparing his office.

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“I fully understand the Italian prime minister’s vote, which has been interpreted publicly. I will work closely with Giorgia Meloni, as I will with the other 26 EU leaders,” Antonio Costa told Portuguese journalists on Friday at the prime minister’s office, speaking to reporters from the Party of European Socialists in Brussels.

Italian leader Giorgia Meloni was the only one who voted against Costa at the European Union summit, but she considered the vote normal because “the European Council is not an association of bureaucrats, but of politicians who have their own political orientations and vote according to them.” He said.

Without a long pause to rest, write a book, or think about his possible candidacy for the presidency of Portugal in 2026, António Costa will assume a position of great international importance on December 1, after resigning as prime minister in a new government. judicial scandal, in just over a year, like a phoenix reborn from the ashes of Greek mythology.

Good relationship with von der Leyen and Klaas

The meeting took place by chance with the candidates, at the airport, in the same tone of good cooperation as happened with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, five years ago, “especially during the Portuguese presidency, in 2021, during the 2021 Portuguese presidency.” “The epidemic.”

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“I also have a good relationship with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and we have the advantage of learning from past experiences, to continue good practices and avoid bad ones,” Costa added.

For the first time, a politician from the south of the EU will assume the presidency of the European Council, an institution Costa knows well having participated there as head of government for almost a decade and where he gained a reputation as a good negotiator. , a mediator and enthusiast of the European Union project, for what it means in pacifying the European continent and the democratic transition in her country of origin.

Cabinet in preparation

The president-elect said he had already held meetings with the General Secretariat of the European Council and with the current president, Charles Michel, and that he would organize the government taking into account the internal strategic agenda and the international agenda, wishing to “talk to the leaders of the 27 countries to see how working methods could be improved.”

The lawyer by training, who has been involved in politics since the age of 14, will oversee the 27 leaders’ meetings at a time when he faces major challenges regarding the shifting economic paradigm and geopolitical positions.

“There is a huge effort to be made, and despite the political differences between governments and the levels of development in the countries, we must be able to make decisions together,” he said, without wishing to speculate on the outcome of the summit elections in France, where the far right could win.

Costa, 62, is the son of a communist writer with roots in Goa, a former Portuguese colony in India, a journalist and a women’s rights advocate. Practical and determined, he intends to maintain that position.

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“The President of the European Council must put himself above political families and realize that the heads of government and the 27 member states have equal rights and deserve equal respect. I will work and help to form a consensus through a qualified majority and, whenever possible, through consensus,” he explained, “without any veto”.