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Ponta Delgada ,  March 08, 2019

Rui Bettencourt defends that the active participation of citizens in the construction of their society is the best integration strategy

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations defended in Ponta Delgada that the "diversity - integration" binomial should be associated with the "social enrichment for diversity - citizenship for participation" binomial.
"The best integration strategy is the one that places the active participation of citizens in the construction of their societies instead of being passive people and mere observers in the society where they belong to," said Rui Bettencourt.
The government official spoke at the opening session of the international seminar on "Integration and Diversity" held under the Metropolis International Steering Committee meeting. According to him, "an assumed identity, where roots are fundamental," and "full citizen participation" contribute to the "necessary balance for integration strategies."
"An Azorean, regardless of being the children or grandchildren of Azoreans, does stop being Azorean because he or she is American, Canadian, Brazilian or Uruguayan," stressed the government official. As he noted, "nobody stops being Azorean or is less Azorean for having been born outside the Azores."
Rui Bettencourt recalled that "the Azores have always been confronted with the phenomenon of migration, emigration and immigration." In this regard, he alluded to the "people who arrived here from various places, as they brought enriching diversity with them and, therefore, participated in the construction and identity of the Azores of today." In turn, he also mentioned the "people who left the Region in search of other places and contributed to the enrichment of other parts of the world with our culture."
"We are talking about a diaspora of about four to six times the population of the archipelago," the government official said, noting that it is probably "the largest diaspora in the world" in terms of percentage.
"If I mention the Azorean case here, it is because we find diversity as the guiding line for the construction of an identity, both inside and outside our territory," said the Regional Secretary. In this context, he stressed the "intense, active, dynamic and permanent" balance between identity and active participation "in the effective construction of other worlds and new societies."
Rui Bettencourt reiterated the need to implement "mechanisms for the effective participation of this diaspora," such as the case of the Azorean Diaspora Council, whose creation was recently announced by the President of the Government. According to him, "Azoreans from all over the world may participate and collaborate in the Azorean project" and this council will "play a key role in this participation."
The Regional Secretary also expressed the Regional Government's willingness to carry out joint projects with Metropolis partners, highlighting the "pride" of being part of this international group that brings together more than 60 partners from 23 countries. It works towards social progress and the promotion of the common good by virtue of the "permanent and fruitful relation achieved through dialogue and the promotion of interculturality."


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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