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Ponta Delgada ,  March 31, 2010

Azorean Autonomy model presented in Serbia

The Under Secretary for European Affairs and External Cooperation stated at the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade on Tuesday that “the establishment, the results and the development of the political regime of the Autonomous Region of the Azores are an example of good governance, whose model should be taken into account by the states that are currently undergoing administrative reorganisations.”
Rodrigo Oliveira participated, on behalf of the President of the Regional Government, Carlos César, at the “National Conference on the Decentralisation of Serbia,” which was held on March 29 and 30. This event was organised by the National Council for the Decentralisation of the Republic of Serbia and was attended by the representatives of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) and of the Council of Europe (CE).
The initiative brought together over 300 political representatives of the Central Government (including the President of the Republic, Boris Tadic), local authorities, political parties, civil associations and Serbian universities, who debated, with a widely media coverage, various aspects concerning the administrative organisation of the Serbian State.
Rodrigo Oliveira presented a lecture on “The Azores: an Autonomous and Outermost Region” (Açores: uma Região Autónoma e Ultraperiférica) in which he addressed the evolution and the historical aspirations of the Azoreans to an autonomic system, its implementation period, the powers and performance of the Azores, emphasising the Regional Finance Act as well as the status and performance of the Region in the context of the European Union.
During the debate, after the lecture presented by the Regional Under Secretary for European Affairs and External Cooperation, participants demonstrated a considerable interest in several aspects regarding the Regional Autonomy, whose model was considered as an “inspiring example” for decentralisation in Serbia.
“The Autonomy of the Azores, through its self-government bodies, allows the Azoreans to implement the legislation as well as the policies deemed appropriated to the specificities of the Azores, thus boosting the economic and social development of a region that was once one of the poorest regions in Portugal. The Azores have reached an intermediate position of continuous convergence at a national and European level, which clearly demonstrates the success and relevance of the autonomic system,” concluded Rodrigo Oliveira.
The Republic of Serbia only has a province with autonomic status (Vojvodina); the remaining territory is administered by the municipalities and the central government. The decentralisation of the State has been supported by various international organisations, such as the OSCE – the entity that invited the Azores to participate in this event – however, it is regarded with suspicion by political authorities and the civil society, mainly, due to the fear for the emergence or strengthening of regional nationalism in Serbia.


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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