The Regional Director for Planning and Structural Funds stressed today in Furnas that national and EU authorities have recognised that the implementation of Pro-convergência in the Azores is the programme with the best implementation in the country.
During a break from the meeting of Monitoring Committee of Pro-Convergência and Pro-Emprego, Rui Amann revealed to the Press that the official of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy of the European Commission for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Malt considers that the application of EU funds, through Pro-Convergência, has been effective, useful and beneficial for the Autonomous Region.
As he added, Raoul Prado has publicly acknowledged that the implementation of structural funds is the most correct and appropriate in the Azores, benefiting from a very satisfactory rate of implementation, despite the unfavourable economic and financial situation.
Rui Amann revealed that Pro-Convegência is a very comprehensive program, which benefits from an allocation of EU funds amounting to 966 million Euros for a period of seven years that ends in 2013.
Making a very positive assessment, the Regional Director for Planning and Structural Funds clarified that Pro-Convergência is primarily based on three priority areas: the first being related to the competitiveness of the economy, which includes the issue of applied research to companies and the incentive scheme for private investment; the second concerns social inclusion, the school network and health, with ongoing investment or already concluded on all islands.
The third priority area is concerns transport, including maritime and road transport infrastructures, and the environmental sector, added the government official.
Regarding additional costs, Rui Amann stressed that the Regional Government decided to adopt the strategy applied to air transport, mainly in the compensation of public service rendered and the works carried out in aerodromes.
For this government official, it is a very important tool for the funding of public investment in the Azores, involving hundreds of projects and applications.
Alluding to the remaining Community funds of Pro-Convergência, the Regional Director for Planning and Structural Funds stressed the support to two transport vessels for the "Triângulo" islands (Faial, Pico and S. Jorge), whose application is being approved, and the fibre optic cable for Flores and Corvo.
According to Rui Amann, is it possible that from 2014 the Regional Government may be able to maintain the same pace and level of implementation of Pro-Convergência.