It is with real pleasure that I embark on the task of applying the knowledge gained over 30 years to my work in the European Parliament. My past experience covers the spheres of energy, environment, climate change policies, higher education and science. My university studies and my subsequent academic work, following my PhD and my teaching qualifications, have been in these fields. I have contributed to the development of technologies for the reduction of toxic emissions throughout my career.
I have also worked in the spheres of Higher Education and Science and have held posts in the Instituto Superior Técnico, the largest Engineering College in Portugal, (on the Managing Council and the Scientific Council), as a member of the Institute of Engineers and as a member of the fifteenth and sixteenth Constitutional Governments in Portugal. During this time, I dedicated myself to the fields of Higher Education, Science and Innovation and the education and training of young people. With my arrival in the European Commission as principal advisor of President Barroso, I have participated in the development of the European Energy Strategy and in the struggle to combat climate change from its inception.
I am now in a position in the European Parliament - as a full member of the ITRE committee - to defend the interests of the Portuguese people as a whole in the fields of Industry, Research and Energy. My aim is to ensure that our country and Europe is more energy independent and that we are also able to further the diversification of renewable energy sources, to consolidate the internal market and to contribute to the struggle against climate change and energy insecurity. It is of vital importance that we support a common industrial policy based in a dynamic network of SMEs as well as the creation and development of telecommunication infrastructure.
I am also a substitute member of the Budget Committee, where I was designated as the permanent rapporteur for the EPP in all matters relating to the science and innovation for the Parliamentary Budget Committee. Given the commitment of the EU to science and innovation as one of its main priorities in terms of economic development - as this involves a significant share of the budget that has been drawn up for the coming years - this will be of real importance for Portugal and for Europe throughout the course of this mandate of the European Parliament.
I am a member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU (African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union) and I have been elected co-chairman of the ACP-EU Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade. This is one of the spheres in which I can champion a cause that is dear to me: the defence of the interests of the developing countries.
MEPs lives are multifaceted. Not only do they constantly come into contact with different languages and sources of information but they are also in daily interaction with personalities from diverse political, economic social and intellectual backgrounds. We are responsible for producing work of an abstract and a political nature that then becomes a series of initiatives, proposals, reports and speeches (1 minute speeches in the Plenary Session, questions to the President, oral statements, explanations of vote). This takes place in the plenary sessions, in the different committee meetings, during meeting with representatives of various bodies, stakeholders, officials, observers and journalists. We are also able to invite groups of visitors to Brussels and Strasbourg to visit the Parliament and the other European institutions.
MEPS can also devote part of their time to personal initiatives. In my case, I pay particular attention to those events that are relevant to the things that I care about most directly: climate change, youth, the protection of disadvantaged regions, innovation and the interests of the developing countries. Since the beginning of my mandate, I have organised a number of meetings: Climate Change and China, New Approaches to Research and Innovation in Europe, Capacity Building, Technology Transfer and Adaptation in Africa for Countries whose Official Language is Portuguese.