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Horta ,  March 31, 2009

Government reinforces the support for youth, communities and media

The proposal for the Regional Plan for 2009 intensifies the financial effort that the Government has been making in Youth over the last years, “recognizing the importance of human capital and the potential that the status of Youngest Region of the Country confers to the Azores.
This statement was made by the Regional Secretary of the Presidency that spoke at the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, in the city of Horta, at the opening session and debate on Medium-term Options and Plan and Budget for 2009.
André Bradford underlined that this commitment “is based on an extended and dynamic network composed by more than forty Youth Associations spread throughout the Region, and is addressed to thousands of young people” that annually participate in various initiatives.
In this framework, the medium-term strategic orientations aim to “promote civic participation, citizenship and the accomplishment of integrated measures to support youth emancipation,” involving, in the framework of the General Youth Plan, several governmental departments, in order “to provide conditions so that education or the first house, job or business do not become insuperable barriers for the personal fulfilment of youth,” announced the Secretary.
Furthermore, André Bradford announced that initiatives such as “Fórum Jovem” (Youth Forum), “+ Açores, + Cidadania” (+ Azores, + Citizenship) Programme and the new programme of Youth Voluntary Service will be materialised in a medium-term, as “a response addressed to those that insist on repeating uncritically and passively the idea of youth withdrawal from politics and civic activities.”
Youth mobility is another area to be enhanced, after the wide acceptance of Interjovem Card which benefited 12 thousand users during 2008.”
He stated that there are “examples of success and external projection of our youth, but we need to make a greater effort in this area,” announcing the initiative of remodelling the Regional Network of Youth Information, with a new system that “will connect a number of service posts and resource centres in a more qualified and comprehensive way, with a new generation digital platform able to respond to the youth’s current demand.”
André Bradford also announced the coming into operation of the Azores Youth Academy, the one from Terceira Island, a project of partnership between the Government of the Azores and the City Hall of Praia da Vitória, which has the main purpose of being an incubator of ideas and a training facility.”
Still in the area of equipment, more than three million Euros will be invested in Youth Hostels, mainly in the repair of the surrounding space of the Pico Youth Hostel, in the construction of the Santa Maria facility and in the renewal of Terceira unit. The construction of the S. Jorge Youth Hostel, in Callheta, will also start soon, said the Secretary.
Regarding other areas under the jurisdiction of his Department, André Bradford stressed the reinforcement in the support of the Diaspora Communities, through the creation of partnerships with Casas dos Açores (Houses of the Azores) in order to render services at the host places and the promotion of synergies, so that “our communities and the institutions that represent them become not only agents for the preservation of local culture, traditions and native language – a role which they have played with undeniable dedication and with great success, but also instruments aimed to promote the Azores of the today, its interests and potentialities, in the political and institutional context, as well as in the economic context.”
In terms of the internal context, the Regional Directorate of Communities will have as a major objective the expansion and improvement of the operating conditions of its public service, mainly in the area of legal and administrative support.
The improvement of the integration of immigrants is another objective in this area, “to defend their rights particularly in the labour market, and to facilitate their legalisation process,” and to continue “intensively” with partnership actions which support institutions, directing the available allocations to improvement actions and defending immigrant communities “in the specific context of the instability that some activity sectors which employ immigrant labour are facing.”
André Bradford also highlighted the second edition of the Support Programme for Private Media (PROMEDIA) recently approved by the Government Council.
The new programme registers an increase of 25% of its annual budget, will be in force for four years and, despite being based in the same philosophy of improving the technical conditions of production, qualifying the human resource department and facilitating the dissemination at a regional level, reinforces the distinction between media that has some market projection and media from the so-called Cohesion Islands, which play “a vital and social role which is not assured by the market.”
On the other hand, the Secretary also said that “we grant a new emphasis on the initiatives of relevant interest in the Media and we establish a mechanism to support the effort and the role, which is sometimes not valued as it should be, of the Diaspora Media.”
The proposal for the 2009 Plan also includes an increase of about 30% in the allowance to support and qualify Public Radio and Television Services in the Region, without loss of the financial support for production and infrastructures, which “has happened and should continue to happen in the future,” announced the Secretary of the Presidency.


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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