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Ponta Delgada ,  March 04, 2015

Government of the Azores wants broad participation in the implementation of EU funds by 2020

The Vice-President of the Government stated today that the Regional Government counts on the participation of all those who may be involved in the implementation of EU funds to ensure their adequate use.

Speaking at the presentation session of the Azores 2020 Operational Programme, held in Ponta Delgada, Sérgio Ávila called for the participation of businesspeople, entrepreneurs, social partners and municipalities. The government official announced that the Government will sign next week "a protocol that defines the participation of municipalities in the implementation of the Operational Programme."

The Vice-President stressed that the protocol to be signed with the Association of Municipalities of the Azores "was unanimously approved" by local authorities, adding that "regional municipalities can now submit their investment projects, which are essential to the promotion of the programme." According to him, this is "an extremely important tool" for the future of the Region.

"With a rigorous and comprehensive implementation of the Operational Programme, we aim to achieve levels of employment and wealth that will foster the development, progress and well-being on all islands, with special emphasis on those regarding the maintenance of our environment, which is, above all, our greatest asset," said Sérgio Ávila.

In his speech, the Vice-President highlighted the "path of convergence towards the average wealth of the European Union" that was followed by the Region in the previous Community support framework, reminding that the Azores even surpassed the goals initially set.

"We assumed the goal of reaching 70 percent of the average European GDP; however, we surpassed this figure even before the end of the implementation of Proconvergência. In fact, the Azores have already reached 71 percent of the average European GDP. Currently, this is the highest figure achieved reached by Portuguese Regions - Objective I," said Sérgio Ávila.

The Vice-President of the Government mentioned the increase of employability and job creation as the main priority of this Operational Programme. In this regard, the government official pointed out the 66 percent increase in financial allocations to "the promotion of sustained employment and qualification" as an evidence of this commitment.

Sérgio Ávila also recalled various measures created by the Government of the Azores to assist companies, considering that the current set of incentives "is undoubtedly the most comprehensive, intense and diverse that was ever created, not only in the Azores but also across the country."

In this context, the government official stressed the creation of "mechanisms intended to reinforce the competitiveness of companies and, consequently, stimulate the regional production structure and the qualification of the regional business sector."

Sérgio Ávila also conveyed the Government's belief that "regional economy will continue to grow, create more jobs and generate more wealth."

"Half of the FEDER allocation under the Azores 2020 Operational Programme, more precisely a sum of 412 million Euros, will be directed to the strengthening of small and medium companies, research, technological development and innovation, access to information and communication technologies, and the transition to a low carbon economy.

"Our goal is to have a Region with an economic sector mainly based on exports in order to fully benefit from its status as Outermost Region and as a bridge between Europe and America in the context of maritime transport," said Sérgio Ávila.

Furthermore, the Vice-President of the Government mentioned the goal of having "an environmentally clean Region, where people want to live, with an inclusive society at all levels and age groups, not only in the access to employment but also in everything that is synonymous with quality of life."


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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