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Brussels ,  October 11, 2017

Committee of the Regions approves proposal of the Azores on motorways of the sea in Outermost Regions

The Committee of the Regions recommended the European Union, on proposal of the Regional Government, to adjust the transport policy framework so that it may take into account the reality of Outermost Regions. This is crucial to "the full accomplishment of the EU's goals for the Trans-European Transport Network" and to Outermost Regions insofar as they become "eligible for actions under the motorways of the sea."
The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations spoke after the voting on the Committee of the Regions' report on "The Future of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) - Transport." At the occasion, he conveyed his satisfaction with the adoption of the proposal, considering it of "great relevance" for the Azores and for the other Outermost Regions.
Rui Bettencourt stressed the importance of approving this proposal to the Azores, stating that "it would not make sense that the "Connecting Europe Facility" or the motorways of the sea would fail to acknowledge the importance of Outermost Regions." According to him, this was the premise that has brought the analysis of the matter to the session plenary session of the Committee of the Regions held in Brussels.
The Azores' proposal also considers that the European Union, in its guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network, recalls that integrated policies are important. It points out the need to ensure "accessibility and interconnection of EU all regions, including remote, island and outermost regions." The Committee of the Regions urges that these regions, excluded from the main network, should be "eligible" for the motorways of the sea.
Hence, the Government of the Azores has been able to make changes to the document of this consultative body to European institutions by drawing attention to the particular situation of outermost regions and, in this case, of the Azores; the latter is a region "where transport and accessibility play an important role in life of the Azoreans given their archipelago characteristics," said Rui Bettencourt.
During the plenary session, the Committee of the Regions also adopted other amendments proposed by the Government of the Azores, namely the reports on the "Space Strategy for Europe" and the "European Pillar for Social Rights and reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe."
The first report safeguards, on proposal of the Azores, the recognition of the potential of regions in the space domain and the importance of their participation, defending that they should have a more active voice in the field and participate in the implementation of the European Space Strategy.
The Committee of the Regions, also on proposal of the Azores, also awarded priority status to the development of cooperation between European, national and regional authorities as well as between the industry and its users. This goal will be achieved "through structured support from the European Commission to help ensuring that the capacity for information traffic is compatible with the current challenges arising from remote sensing technologies." In this regard, the Committed stressed that space policy contributes to "stimulating science and technology" and to promoting the socio-economic development of regions.
With regard to the "European Pillar of social rights," the amendments proposed by the Azores and now adopted indicate that children and young people from the most vulnerable socio-economic backgrounds "are entitled to specific measures to promote their school success, which will contribute to greater equality in terms of school and social opportunities." Moreover, the document also mentions the concerns regarding the unemployment as well as their right to receive personalised, continuous and adequate support, namely the "training tailored to their skills, personal and professional experience, and motivations." 


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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