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Brussels ,  September 18, 2019

Rui Bettencourt highlights "broader understanding" of the Azores at the European Parliament

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations expressed today his “great satisfaction” with the meetings he held this week with MEPs and several entities in Brussels and Strasbourg.
“With regard MEPs, we have a clear feeling that a broader understanding of the Azores and cooperation with the Azores is effectively being outlined," said Rui Bettencourt.
“For the understanding of the Azores, the availability of the MEPs I have met, who are key actors in the defence of the Azores at the European Parliament in the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, and for the MEPs' willingness to work together with us, I believe these meetings I had in Strasbourg at the European Parliament are extremely relevant. In fact, they open a new era in the relations between the Regional Government and the European Parliament,” said the government official.
According to the Secretary for External relations, this happens at a "quite relevant" moment when "a new political cycle for Community institutions begins with the decision on the new financial framework to be drawn up for the development of the European Union and the Azores, in particular, over the next decade."
Rui Bettencourt stressed that this series of meetings “was a very important first step to build bridges for a very fruitful work in the future," noting the attention paid to his words as well as the understanding and willingness to work together.
The Regional Secretary highlighted the “very productive meeting” he had with the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Development, Younous Omarjee. On the occasion, he conveyed the President of the Government's invitation to visit the Azores, having also explained to the EU official the Azorean position of not accepting cuts under the next financial framework and of not accepting the reduction of the Community co-financing rate from 85% to 70%.
At this meeting, where he exchanged views on the regional situation and the European situation, Rui Bettencourt reiterated “the important need for the European Union to consider the Azores as a huge asset for their sea, their geostrategic position and the strong desire to be on the European scene.”
He also met with the Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Budgets, MEP Margarida Marques, the rapporteur for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework at the European Parliament, MEP José Manuel Fernandes, as well as with several MEPs belonging to the Committees on Fisheries and Agriculture. These meetings were primarily aimed intensifying the relations between the Regional Government and the European Parliament.
At the Representation Office of the Autonomous Region of the Azores in Brussels, Rui Bettencourt met with the European Commission Head of the Outermost Regions Unit, Paula Gaspar, to assess the Strategy for the ORs implemented in 2017. The government official also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR), Eleni Marianou, with whom he arranged the details for the Islands Commission's visit to the Azores in the first half of 2020.


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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