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Lisbon ,  March 09, 2015

Government of the Azores will appeal to the Constitutional Court to defend the Region's powers in maritime planning

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology restated today that the national legislation on maritime spatial planning, recently approved by the Council of Ministers, "does not respect the powers of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, which are provided in the Law and Constitution."

Fausto Brito e Abreu spoke on the sidelines of the meeting of the Interministerial Commission for Maritime Affairs (CIAM), chaired by the Prime Minister. The government official also criticised the national initiatives developed by the National Government regarding the use of geological resources of the seabed and the classification of protected oceanic marine areas.

"It became very clear at this meeting that there is a profound disagreement between the National Government and Autonomous Region in these matters. In fact, the Prime Minister did not welcome the concerns shown by the Autonomous Regions regarding the implementation of the Basic Law defining the policies for the National Maritime Spatial Planning and Management, which we consider to be unconstitutional and illegal," said Brito e Abreu.

Therefore, the Regional Secretary for the Sea confirmed that "the Government of the Azores will appeal to the Constitutional Court in order to safeguard the rights and legitimate interests of the Region."

During the meeting of CIAM, Fausto Brito e Abreu also presented the Regional Government's plan for the establishment of the Azores Maritime School, stressing that it should become "a national reference in the training and qualification of seafarers."

In addition to the document on implementation of the Basic Law defining the policies for the National Maritime Spatial Planning and Management, the meeting also addressed the National Network of Oceanic and Cross-border Marine Protected Areas and Research, Prospecting and Exploration of Deep Sea Mineral Resources. According to Brito e Abreu, "there is also a disagreement" between the National Government and the Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira in these matters.”

Established in 2007, the Interministerial Commission for Maritime Affairs is chaired by the Prime Minister and comprises the following members: Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Internal Affairs, Economy and Employment, Agriculture and Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning, Health, Education and Science, and members of the Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira responsible for maritime affairs.

This committee is a structure created to support the reflection and strategic decisions on the Sea as well as to ensure the implementation and updating of the National Strategy for the Sea.


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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