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Corfu ,  March 22, 2019

Azores strengthen cooperation with Macaronesia and Outermost Regions after 2020, says Rui Bettencourt

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations stated on Corfu, Greece, that the Azores have "two large spaces of cooperation" in the next multiannual financial framework from 2020 onwards, namely Macaronesia and the Outermost Regions.
Rui Bettencourt participated in the panel "Which future for maritime cooperation in the new European territorial cooperation programme" under the seminar on "Cohesion policy after 2020: programming and implementing structural funds on the islands of the European Union." On the occasion, the stressed that, regarding Macaronesia, "the most important issue is the one concerning maritime transport and the economy of the sea."
"We are in a very relevant situation as we play complementary roles - the Azores, the Canary Islands and Madeira - we are in a situation in which we complement each other in the economy as well as in challenges we face in the management of this space," said Rui Bettencourt. He participated in the General Assembly of the Islands Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).
According to him, the sea and the economy of the sea in Macaronesia are very important matters as the Macaronesian Sea accounts for more than a third of the European sea. In this regard, he considered that the issue of transport, namely maritime transport, is of paramount importance "for the feasibility and increasing competitiveness of many economic sectors."
In addition, still on the subject of Macaronesia, Rui Bettencourt mentioned the fact that this is a matter that arouses "great interest" among the partners of the Islands Commission and the various European islands as far as they want to know more about what is happening in the Azores cooperation of that space.
Regarding Outermost Regions, the Regional Secretary considered them another "very relevant" area in the next multiannual financial framework. As he stressed, the proposed programme regulating the new territorial cooperation contains "a reference and a specific line of support for outermost regions," which means that "they will have a financial framework of their own, as Macaronesia now has, in order to cooperate."
"It is quite obvious that the major cooperation challenges channel synergies to outermost regions besides those that already exist in the political coordination of our activities," said Rui Bettencourt. With this European territorial cooperation programme, Outermost Regions will have a financial tool at their disposal in order to develop their areas of action "in synergy" as is the case of transport, economy and innovation.
"We have very relevant areas of cooperation here that can transform our cooperation in a very significant manner," said the government official.
During his visit to Corfu to participate in the General Assembly of the CPMR's Islands Commission, the Regional Secretary also had the opportunity to meet with European MEP Isabel Thomas, rapporteur for the Multiannual Financial Framework at the European Parliament and one of the allies of the Azores in the defence of their position with this EU institution.
"We have assessed the situation and we are aware that many things will happen until the final financial framework is approved," said Rui Bettencourt. In this regard, he noted that "the Azores are watchful and will pay close attention to this matter so that the multiannual financial framework be as close as possible to what the Azores desire."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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