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Horta ,  November 08, 2018

Rui Bettencourt highlights preparation of "strategic" community framework for the Azores over the next decade

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations highlighted in Horta the follow-up of the preparation works of the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2021-2027 period as one of the main "strategic investments for the future of the Azores."
"We have been closely following the preparation works of this Framework, which is paramount to the economy of the Azores over the next decade," said Rui Bettencourt, who spoke to journalists at the Legislative Assembly at the end of a hearing on the proposed Plan and Budget for 2019. On the occasion, he underlined the importance of "an alliance between the members of the Parliament and the Regional Government" so that this Financial Framework may be efficiently defended at the European Parliament.
The government official expressed his concern over the fact that the European Parliament would cease its duties in May. In this context, everything will be done to ensure that this Financial Framework is approved during the current term of the Parliament to prevent the process from starting from scratch, which would delay the next Financial Framework; it is due to enter into force on January 1, 2021.
For the Secretary for External Relations portfolio, it is important to "affirm" the strategy pursued by the Regional Government and what Azoreans want for the development of the Region.
Rui Bettencourt underlined the "intense" lobbying for the Commission to change its position on co-financing rates by restoring the 85% rate, currently in force, and abandoning 70% rate proposed by the Commission in the next Financial Framework. This would require the Region to double its own efforts to finance Community projects.
"In the negotiations of the Financial Framework we have adopted an ambivalent position.  We are fragile but we also bring great potential to the European Union, which become a reality. The European has been aware of our contributions, having included some of our suggestions," stressed the Regional Secretary.
In this context, the Regional Secretary emphasised the "special position" of the Azores as an Outermost Regions, noting that the Government has insisted with the European Commission that "the European Union has an oceanic and global tailoring due to its Outermost Regions." This is the case of the Azores, which represent 18% of the European maritime area.
"We, as an Outermost Region, have weaknesses, as we are distant from the continent and we have a small-scale economy. Nevertheless, we have potentialities," said the government official.
Rui Bettencourt also stated that the Government has carried out an intense awareness-raising campaign among several MRPs " to defend the Azorean position, considering that it is essential to persuade MEPs to vote on the position of the Azores and Outermost Regions.
The Regional Secretary also highlighted Macaronesia, which he considered "a very important territory" in terms of trade, economics and politics and, for that reason, they will have "a very intense action" in 2019. On the occasion, he also stressed the fact the Azores currently holds the presidency of the Conference of Macaronesian Governments and announced the holding of Macaronesia Games, an event that will bring together young people from the four archipelagos in the Azores.
Furthermore, Rui Bettencourt highlighted the diaspora, with which the Regional Government has developed "a very important action to raise the awareness of all Azoreans in the world for the Azorean project." The Regional Secretary pointed out the holding of various courses for young people from the diaspora in the Azores as well as the support for social and cultural institutions and non-governmental organisations supporting the Azoreans throughout the world.


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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