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On one of his last visits to Brussels, Prime Minister António Costa claimed that 2017 was “a particularly tasty year for Portugal”. Well, Salvador Sobral won the Eurovision song contest, Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded his fifth Ballon dʼOr, and Mário Centeno was elected Eurogroup president. But what about a serious discussion on European Union matters? And the country’s inputs on several matters? Besides the usual public speeches on “our place” in Europe, “30 years of membership” and others related to current ʻcrisesʼ, such as those on refugees and populism (two “no” problems in Portugal), no proper or serious discussion is being held in the country, even after the European Commissionʼs White Paper on the Future of Europe. Obviously, the Minister for Foreign Affairs pointed out which scenarios were convenient for the country and which ones were not. The Prime Minister even tweeted that this document was a “good start for an indispensable debate”, but the beginning of the debate is still to be seen at the governmental level. If it weren’t for two series of conferences organised by civil society, no discussion on the present and future of the EU or and the country would have been had.
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- The Bell Has Rung: Portugalʼs Main Bet Is on the Conclusion of the EMU