The first Conselho da Diáspora Açoriana [Council of the Azorean Diaspora] met for the first time, in Ponta Delgada, at the invitation of the President of the Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, in Palácio da Conceição, the headquarters of the Regional Government of the Azores.
Established in 2019, and electorally constituted in 2021, the Conselho da Diáspora Açoriana is a consultative body of the Government of the Azores, composed of 35 members, with the mission of promoting the participation of representatives from the Azorean communities scattered around the world in countries such as Bermuda (1), Brazil (5), Canada (5), United States of America (5), Uruguay (1), Continental Portugal and Autonomous Region of Madeira (1) and the rest of the world (1).
Chaired by President José Manuel Bolieiro, and officiated by the Vice-Presidency of the Government, Artur Lima, through the Regional Directorate for Communities, the plenary assembly of the Council was attended by the 35 elected members, including the 19 councilors elected by Regional Government.
In his address, President Bolieiro stressed the importance of the event by saying it was an opportunity for the region’s own government bodies, and in particular the Regional Government, to receive feedback, such as reflection, advice, critical assessment and implementation of policies from the leaders of the Azorean communities of the diaspora.
According to the agenda for the event, the councils delegation also visited the islands of Terceira and Faial where they held working meetings with the Vice-President of the Government of the Azores, Artur Lima, in Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira), and with the president of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Luís Garcia, in Horta city (Faial).
The councilors of the Conselho da Diáspora Açoriana were elected for a term of four years, on the Azores Day, May 24, 2021, and took office on the Portuguese Communities Day, June 10, 2021, in a virtual ceremony presided over by the President of the Regional Government.
In addition to the elected members, the body of the Council includes the Vice-President of the Regional Government, three representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, a representative of the World Council of Houses of the Azores and the Regional Directors with competences in the areas of emigration and communities, social solidarity, professional qualification and employment, culture, and tourism.
The Council also includes a representative of the Association of Municipalities of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, a representative of the many associations of emigrants with presence and activity in the Region, a representative of the Directorate-General for Consular Affairs and Portuguese Communities and a representative of the national Council of Portuguese Communities.
PAJ/Staff/Photo credit/Jornal Açores
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.