Brussels : Portugal, which takes over the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Union July 1, has planned summit-level meetings with all the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), with the 8th EU-India summit scheduled for November 30 in New Delhi.
Alvaro de Mendonca e Moura, Portugal's ambassador to the EU, told a Brussels-based think tank earlier this week that Portugal intends to use the EU Presidency to focus on emerging economies, and reinforcing Europe's role in the world, reported news agency INEPNEXT Friday.
Attention must be devoted to the new emerging economies, because as Russian President Vladimir Putin had pointed out, 60 percent of the world's GDP now came from outside the EU, Moura told an audience of diplomats and journalists at the European Policy Centre.
Africa will also be a key focus, with Portugal working to place EU-Africa relations on a "sounder basis", culminating in a summit due to take place toward the end of the year.
The Ambassador said the EU was partly to blame for leaving a gap in Africa to be filled by other world players, such as China, by ignoring opportunities in the past.
The EU Presidency will also look at alternative means of financing Europe's satellite navigation system, Galileo, in which India has also agreed to invest. The 3.2 billion euro project is on hold since a consortium of European aerospace and engineering firms balked at the costs.