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Horta ,  July 04, 2019

Involvement of citizens in development of the Region involves the Diaspora Council, says Rui Bettencourt

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations restated at the Legislative Assembly in Horta that the Regional Government intends to promote "citizen involvement policies" in the development of the archipelago, wherever they are.
"Therefore, this is the moment to take action so that we can create the conditions for the Azoreans living outside the Region to participate in the Azorean project," said Rui Bettencourt. He spoke Wednesday in the debate on the proposal for the creation of the Azorean Diaspora Council, which was unanimously approved.
For the government official, this is also the moment to "create a mechanism that aims to recognise as Azoreans those who, identifying themselves with the Region, wish to participate in its development."
"We have all realised that the Azorean Diaspora Council is not a mere advisory council," said the government official. According to him, "this is a Council that aims to involve all our people spread around the world in the development and future of the Azores."
In his speech, the Regional Secretary highlighted the existence of more than 1.5 million Azoreans in the world, "with an identity of their own." In fact, they are "one of the most significant diasporas," seeing that there are four to six times more Azoreans living outside the archipelago than those residing in Region.
"The reality of this Azorean diaspora in the world, namely in the USA, Canada, Bermuda, Brazil, stands out for its presence, influence, affirmation, and even leadership in areas as diverse as the economy, entrepreneurship and wealth generation, academic activities, politics, science, technology, innovation and research, culture and social intervention," stated Rui Bettencourt.
"These 1st-generation Azoreans as well as their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and even some 5th or 6th-generation Azoreans, are all bearers of the Azorean spirit in the world and feel as Azorean as we are," stated the government official. In this regard, he pointed out the "curiosity and enthusiasm for the Azorean roots" demonstrated by the diaspora youth.
Moreover, the Regional Secretary noted that we are living "an extraordinary moment, perhaps unique" in 600-year history of the Azores and in 400 years of emigration, which represents "400 years of dissemination of the Azores in the world and more than 40 years of Autonomy."
The Azorean Diaspora Council will be composed of 33 members, among them two thirds will from the diaspora, i.e., 19 members will be elected by the Azoreans around the world, while the representatives of the Government and the Regional Public Administration will make up less than a quarter, said Rui Bettencourt. According to him, the members to be elected by the Azoreans from the diaspora will be distributed by geographical areas "where the Azorean presence is more significant."
Rui Bettencourt also noted that he is aware of the challenges for the dissemination and further clarification on this Diaspora Council, which will require "fieldwork." This will entail "joint efforts," the government official said, adding that more than 1,000 partner institutions of the Regional Government will be involved in this "strategy towards the affirmation of the Azorean diaspora."


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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