“I would like to clarify that SummerCemp is organized to stimulate debate on European affairs and is not to stimulate either parliamentary debates or partisan debates, much less a pre-campaign or electoral campaign space. We are very far from all this, ”said Sofia Colares Alves, representative of the European Commission in Portugal, in comments to Lusa.
This afternoon, first the PCP and then the PS issued statements criticizing the lack of invitation to their party leaders or elected deputies to participate in SummerCEmp, an initiative of the European Commission representation in Portugal that brings together, from Tuesday until Friday, 40 young people university students and 73 speakers to discuss Europe in Monsaraz, Évora district.
Speakers include two socialist ministers (Mário Centeno and Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, respectively Finance and Education) and an independent secretary of state elected by the PS (Ana Paula Zacarias, European Affairs).
Still, in a letter sent to the head of the European Commission Representation in Portugal, the PS expresses its "deep estrangement at the absence of any invitation" and speaks in a "glaring and unfortunate omission".
Earlier, the PCP had accused the European Commission representation in Portugal of excluding the party from the initiative, speaking of “particularly serious discriminatory practice”.
Representatives Pedro Mota Soares (CDS-PP) and Duarte Marques (PSD) and MEPs Marisa Matias (BE), Lídia Pereira (PSD) and Francisco Guerreiro (PAN) are part of the SummerCEmp debates.
The program of the third edition, which takes place in the medieval village of Monsaraz (the event began in the village of Monsanto and later in the town of Marvão), opened with a session with the Minister of Finance and Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, entitled “Europe seen by Portugal ”.
“We organize the debates to have speakers from all quarters, academics, civil society, students and, of course, people who hold political office,” said Sofia Colares Alves. “We do not invite political parties, we invite leading personalities. politicians."
The debates promoted at SummerCEmp, which aims to debate Europe with 40 young university students and 73 speakers for four days, are organized “around themes”, he said. “We invite people based on their position, based on the knowledge and experience for which they are known,” he said.
“We are necessarily careful to encompass as many different views and opinions. Diversity is very important and we try to alternate, ”said Sofia Colares Alves, recalling that MEP João Ferreira, elected by the PCP, participated in the 2018 edition, and because last year was the year of European elections, a debate was held with the partisan youths. “JCP was invited and was not represented, and did not even respond to our invitation,” he said.
Sofia Colares Alves noted, “with great pleasure, the interest of the PCP and, of course, also of the PS to participate in events organized by the European Commission representation in Portugal”, promising that “they will, of course, be invited in the future, whenever this happens. sense".