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The Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP) opened its representation office in Brussels on 25 January 2023.
As of Wednesday, the 17 municipalities that comprise the AMP have an official representation to address European institutions in Brussels, whose objective will be mainly to obtain and forward information on European funding, as well as to advise on possible opportunities to attract investment, and to promote international partnerships for the development of projects and joint applications.
The event took place at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union (REPER) and was hosted by Ambassador Pedro Lourtie who stressed the importance of greater Portuguese representation in Brussels.
For the AMP, there are two areas of particular relevance and interest to the region: mobility and social cohesion.
The AMP considers that, as far as mobility is concerned, transports “do not have sufficient lines of funding on their own”, so one must track down funds that are “often coupled with other dimensions such as decarbonisation, the environment and sustainability”.
In the social dimension, it is the purpose of the AMP to solve “very serious problems of quality of life, housing, quality of public space and waste issues” that represent some of the biggest scourges of “big cities” and which, unfortunately, are also part of the reality of the AMP.
The launch of the AMP representation in Brussels was attended by the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, who stressed in her speech that "the first aspect is that there is no border between what national decisions are and what European decisions are. Over half of Portuguese legislation stems from the implementation and transposition of European regulations and directives. These dimensions have long been deeply intertwined, influencing each other.
That is why it is extremely important that Member States, regions, local authorities, including metropolitan areas, intermunicipal communities, city councils, actively participate in the processes of formulating European priorities and decisions and, of course, in their concrete implementation in the field.”
Read the whole speech here (in Portuguese)
Discussing the importance of these representations to the European institutions was a panel of guests, including Clara San Damián Hernández, Director of the Permanent Delegation of Castile and León to the European Union, Karen Vancluysen, Secretary General of the POLIS Network, Isabel Carvalhais, Member of the European Parliament, and Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, President of the AMP.
The event concluded with Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, who stressed “the important contribution of regions and cities to the construction of Europe”.
The AMP considers that it is possible to engage in work not merely based on the very narrow context of the Community funds currently available, but also on four aspects:
Monitoring the information on European policies and programmes.
Keeping a regular link between regional and Community actors and European institutions.
Supporting the preparation of European projects.
Representing and defending the AMP’s interests.
See the photos of the event here.