Portugal did not comply with the European Commission's recommendations to reduce support “as quickly as possible” to mitigate the rise in energy prices, nor did it transform it to be more targeted and focused on the neediest families. Brussels therefore advises that the country move forward with the rapid reduction of these measures, in accordance with the European Commission's opinion on the draft State Budget for 2024 and reported by ECO.

With regard to recommendations on support to mitigate the rise in energy prices, “the Commission considers that Portugal's draft budgetary plan is not fully in line with the Council's recommendation of 14 July 2023”.

The Community Executive highlights measures such as the “general reduction in fuel tax and the freezing of the carbon tax”, which will remain in force in 2024 and 2025 — despite being gradually reduced. “Most of these energy support measures in 2023 and 2024 do not appear to be targeted at the most vulnerable families or companies and do not fully preserve the price signal to reduce energy demand and increase energy efficiency”, argues Brussels.

“Therefore, the Commission invites Portugal to reduce energy support measures as quickly as possible in 2023 and 2024”.