The Government of the Azores has announced the creation of the Conselho da Diáspora Açoriana [Azorean Diaspora Council], an advisory body intended to strengthen the political and cultural ties between the Azorean communities around the world and the Autonomous Region of the Azores.
The proposal was submitted to the Regional Legislative Assembly on April 17.
This is the time “to create political instruments for the diaspora to participate and become more involved in the Azorean project,” said Deputy Regional Secretary Rui Bettencourt.
Rui Bettencourt added that the new created advisory body will “create conditions” for Azoreans residing abroad to participate in all aspects of life in the Azores, stating that the proposal will provide for the creation of a database aiming to register all Azoreans living abroad, and create an electoral system that will allow the election of representatives from the countries of residence with ability to participate in the political affairs of Azores.
The newly created advisory body will have a total of 19 elected Azoreans to the CDA board from seven regions of the world.
Accordingly, five of the elected will be from Brazil, five from Canada, five from the United States, one from Bermuda, one from Uruguay, one from Portugal mainland, one from Madeira and one representative for the rest of the world.
According to the proposed decree, the CDA board will be permitted to issue opinions on legislation, programs or measures of the Regional Government relating to emigration and the diaspora, as well as contribute to the definition of policies related to these areas through opinions, suggestions and proposals.
The CDA board will be chaired by the President of Government of the Azores and will be represented in the Azores Regional Government.
The President of the Government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, had first announced the creation of the CDA, in February 2019, during his visit to California where an estimated 1.5 million Azoreans and their descendants to reside.
Carolina Matos/PAJ Editor