Mr. Artur Lima, Vice-President of the Regional Government of the Autonomic Region of Azores, stated that the decreasing population of this archipelago is a problematic long-term trend, but one which can be mitigated by welcoming more migrants to the area.
In his opinion, the strategy of the Azorean executive for the integration of immigrants is based on a “double action”, which promotes the “full integration of immigrant communities” and the preservation of “Azorean cultural identity”. This double action is achieved through “permanent dialogue between communities”, the “reinforcement of the Portuguese language” and “professional training and encouragement of the entrepreneurial capacity of foreign citizens”.
Participating in an online conference under AMIF-funded project REGIN (Regions for the Integration of Migrants and Refugees), he said: “We have no doubt that successful integration based on social inclusion will result in a more cohesive and unified society. Azorianity is a flexible concept that embraces everyone: everyone who feels part of this community called the Azores”.
The Azores archipelago is home to almost 3 900 foreign citizens from 95 different countries. Brazilians (18%), Germans (12%) and Chinese (9%) are the largest communities.
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