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Horta ,  January 16, 2019

Regional Government's proposal amending Basic Law on National Maritime Spatial Planning and Management approved at the Regional Assembly

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology reiterated in Horta that the Regional Government "is fighting for the acknowledgement of the Region's powers" in the Basic Law on National Maritime Spatial Planning and Management.
Gui Menezes spoke at the Legislative Assembly during the debate on the draft proposal amending the aforementioned basic law, which was subsequently approved.
The Regional Secretary emphasised that the document presented by the Government intends "to safeguard the Region's powers in the management, planning, preservation and exploitation of the endogenous resources of the maritime territory."
Gui Menezes stated that the document aims at "the shared management of powers between the central administration and the autonomous regions in planning the use and licensing of maritime areas adjacent to the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira that are under national jurisdiction."
In this context, the government official highlighted the creation of new paragraphs under article 3 of the law in force, approved in 2014, namely the joint management in cases of public maritime domain within inland waters and territorial sea belonging to regional territories. Furthermore, he also mentioned the new paragraph on shared management, concerning the maritime space adjacent to the archipelagos under national sovereignty or jurisdiction, to be jointly exercised by the Azorean Government and the National Government, except in cases when the integrity and sovereignty of the State is in question.
As for other proposed amendments to the current law, the Regional Secretary highlighted "the introduction of a new article providing for the maritime spatial planning system in the Azores and Madeira to be defined through a specific regional legislative decree. The latter will regulate the development, approval, coordination and compatibility, cooperation and coordination, amendment, revision and suspension of maritime spatial tools, as well as their economic and financial scheme."
In his speech, Gui Menezes stated that "autonomy is an tool towards development." Therefore, the amendments presented by the Azorean Government "are not and could not be against anyone," but rather "in favour of the development of the Azores and, thus, in favour of Portugal."
"The unique scientific and knowledge heritage of the archipelago, which has developed and solidified over many years, is also a relevant base factor that enables us to play a decisive role in a more informed and efficient management of the Azores Sea," stated the government official. 
"We have a rich diversity of marine ecosystems and genetic resources, occurring both in the deep sea and in coastal areas," the government official, stressing that the Azores have "the duty and the responsibility to defend the interests of the Region in these and other matters."
During the debate, Gui Menezes stressed that "what is at stake goes beyond the issues concerning the deep sea."
With regard to the criticisms made by the Left Block party to the proposals presented by the Regional Government for allegedly "omitting issues related to the protection of the environment and marine ecosystems," the Regional Secretary assured that "these concerns are also safeguarded and defended in article 3 of the current law."


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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