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In cooperation and with support of the Embassy of Portugal in Serbia, on Thursday, 3 July, BFPE organized a conversation with the Portuguese State Secretary for European Affairs Mr. Bruno Maçães.

In his presentation, attended by close to 70 guests and alumni of BFPE programs, Mr. Maçães tried to answer the question of EU’s transformative influence; does it exist in the first place, and if yes, its reach. He also deliberated on the enlargement policies, the Eurozone crisis and the position of smaller members, Portugal included.

@MacaesBruno ”the EU tries to institutionalize this appeal of looking at world differently: diversity within integration”

Bruno Maçães stated in his opening words how he sees the enlargement policy as one of EU’s most successful; enlargement did not bring any new crisis along, he argues – on the contrary. However, he also expressed his disappointment that the EU – in his opinion – has not been taking this policy seriously enough in the past few years.

@MacaesBruno concludes ‘one of EU’s mistakes is it did not take enlargement seriously enough. Q&A is up

Questions from the audience followed, to which our guest was ready to answer. Discussing the outcome of the recent elections for the European Parliament, Mr. Maçães stressed how it is obvious that problems of (i)migration as well as geopolitical shifts (referring to recent conflict in Ukraine) are chipping off parts of EU’s appeal. Nevertheless he did point out that Portugal still presents an perfect example of accession benefits. “EU offered us something new, at a moment when we were leaving one of darker moments in our history”.

EU helped us reconcile w/our past, as 20th century was a rather ‘lonely walk’ for us, points @MacaesBruno

This post is also available in SRP.

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