Monday, July 11, 2022
It was a delight to visit the Partido Popular Monarquico (PPM) deputies during the Regional Legislative Assembly plenary session in Faial, The Azores.
We learned about the special status of the Azores islands and the working relationship with the national government, as well as the pressing topics for the citizens of the archipelago.
The cluster of islands is the most Western point of Europe and has a strategic geography and location when it comes to defense, the environment and trade.
The areas our member party- PPM- focuses on the most are the environment, sustainability, farming and fishing. Paulo Estevão, representative from Corvo island and Gustavo Alves (Flores island) are working tirelessly on policies which would improve the lives of their voters and would preserve the beauty and richness of their islands. Their proposals include expanding a dam which would produce more hydro-energy for the inhabitants, improving the radar system and alerts for natural disasters and potentially using an invasive plant's fiber to replace plastic. They're also fighting for the fishers and farmers, for their products to be treated equally in the marketplace and paid fairly. Here is a short interview with them.
During this visit we also had the honor to meet the President of the Regional Legislative Assembly of Azores, Luís Garcia, as well as the head of the regional government: José Manuel Cabral Dias Bolieiro. We had a lovely conversation with each and was able to ask them a few questions.
Separately, we met the Regional Secretary for Sea and Fishery- Manuel Humberto Lopes São João, from whom we learned more about the territorial waters of the islands, the exploration of the sea and challenges for the fishers and their products on the European market.
The newly elected President of the Committee of Regions- Vasco Alves Cordeiro- is a native of Azores and member of the Azores Legislative Assembly. He was elected to head the Committee of Regions with a unanimity of votes, an impressive feat! It was a pleasure and honor to be able to meet him and learn more about his plans of leveraging the power and importance of EU regions in Brussels.
From the Azores we headed to Lisbon where we had a couple of fruitful meetings with the President of PPM- Gonçalo da Câmara Pereira, and with the chairman of the PPM National Council- João de Travassos. We heard their plans for strengthening the party and increasing its visibility in Portugal and we look forward to partnering with them on projects which would highlight our common values and interest in European themes.
See here the photo album.