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Rabo de Peixe ,  February 19, 2019

Rui Bettencourt reiterates importance of raising awareness of children and young people for European citizenship

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations defended in Rabo de Peixe that children and young people should "feel that they are part of Europe while being Azoreans."
"It is important that people, from a young age, feel like European citizens," said Rui Bettencourt, who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a session held under the "I am EU" at Paulo José Tavares Kindergarten/Basic Education School. On the occasion, he stressed that this puppet activity "disseminates and raises the awareness of youngsters for European Union values in their school context."
According to him, this is not just a matter of raising awareness for what the European Union is today and its evolution since the EEC. In fact, it is also a matter of disseminating "the values that underpin this Union, namely the values of solidarity, democracy, freedom, fraternity and solidarity, as well as the rights and obligations of European citizens."
"This action falls within the strategy aimed at raising the awareness of young people, children and all the Azorean people for an important aspect of our life, which is to be part of the European Union," said the Secretary for External Relations.
Rui Bettencourt added that, from the very beginning, it was thought that, besides the traditional awareness-raising actions and debates, "it would be important to invest for the decade," that is, "to make these youngsters aged eight and nine feel European in the next 10, 12, 15 or 20 years."
The Regional Secretary stated that this action is "a part of a much broader strategy," but considered that this element is "very important."
"The idea is to make them feel Europeans from a very young age so that they may then share with their parents what they have learned at school, what they have seen and the values they have talked about," stressed the government official.
In addition to this action aimed at 4th form students, Rui Bettencourt added that other actions will be developed during the year. They will be directed to secondary school students and undergraduates as well as to elderly centres, Private Social Solidarity Institutions and youth associations.
"This year's actions are focused on the theme "Young People, Europe and the future," the government official stressed, noting that the young people of today" will be active until 2070/2080 and, therefore, they will have the responsibility to build the Azores, Europe and the world."
The "I am EU" project is an initiative held under the "European Citizenship - Europe for the Azoreans" programme with the aim of teaching European and citizenship matters in a fun and education-oriented way. Established in 2017, it has already covered about 5,000 4th form students from all elementary schools of the archipelago.
In the Eastern Group islands, this project is being developed in partnership with Solidaried’arte Açores - Association for Education and Integration through Art and Cultural, Social and Local Development.


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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