OBSERVARE
Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
e-ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022)
79
ACCEPTING ULTRAPERIPHERY: THE ROLE OF THE CONFERENCE OF
PERIPHERAL MARITIME REGIONS (CPMR) IN THE TERRITORIAL
MOBILIZATION STRATEGY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE AZORES WITH THE
EUROPEAN UNION
ANDRÉ PIMENTEL GARCIA
andre.pimentel_garcia@coleurope.eu
Master Degree student in European Studies, College of Europe-Natolin (Poland). Master Degree in
Political Science, University of Minho. Bachelor Degree in Communication Science, University of
Porto.
SANDRINA FERREIRA ANTUNES
santunes@eeg.uminho.pt
Assistant Professor, University of Minho (Portugal). Bachelor Degree in International Relations
and a Master Degree in Political Anthropology. Ph.D. in Political Science. She is Director of the
Bachelor Degree in Political Science, University of Minho. She is an integrated member of the
Centre for Research in Political Science, University of Minho and a scientific fellow, Research
Centre for Political Life at the Libre University of Brussels. She was a visiting researcher, London
School of Economics and University of Edinburgh and is Institute of International Studies (IBEI)
in Barcelona. She received a scholarship from the Foundation for Science and Technology. She
collaborated with the Committee of the Regions and the Assembly of European Regions. She was
a political consultant for the Government of Catalonia and is a member of the Scientific Council of
the Coppieters Foundation, Brussels. Her research focuses on nationalist movements within the
European Union and on the representation strategies of regional and local entities within the
European Union and on the Europeanization processes of small centralized states, such as
Portugal, resulting in a book published by Routledge, 'Europeanization and Territorial Politics in
Small European Unitary States: A Comparative Analysis'.
Abstract
The territorial mobilization strategy of the Regional Government of the Azores (GRAA) with
the European Union (EU) is based on the use of all regionally based representation channels
provided by the EU, including the Transregional European Associations (TEAs). Among these,
we highlight the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) which GRAA presided
during the 11th and 12th Governments, in the person of the president of GRAA Vasco Cordeiro.
Based on this observation and given that the literature still does not offer any information on
the purpose of using TEAs, this article aims to fill this gap by identifying the purpose of thee
GRAA’s using the CPMR. Thus, using the conceptual framework offered by Callanan and
Tatham (2014) and by conducting eight semi-structured interviews with political and technical
personalities from the GRAA and the CPMR, it was possible to conclude that the GRAA uses
the CPMR mainly for the purpose of regulatory mobilization. (4.9 out of 5) and residually for
the purpose of financial mobilization (3.3 out of 5). More specifically, in terms of regulatory
mobilization, the essential issue for the GRAA is the maintenance of a strong cohesion policy,
although sporadic opportunities are probed in various policy areas that may result in more
advantageous frameworks for the GRAA. In terms of financial mobilization, the use of the
CPMR is mainly related to the formation of consortia that can be an end in itself or can
constitute an opportunity to prove certain political points.
Keywords
Territorial mobilization; Regional Government of the Azores (GRAA); European Union;
Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions.
How to cite this article
Garcia, André Pimentel, Antunes, Sandrina Ferreira (2022). Accepting ultraperiphery: the role
of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the territorial mobilization
strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union. In Janus.net, e-journal of
international relations. Vol13, Nº. 1, May-October 2022. Consulted [online] on the date of the
last visit, https://doi.org/10.26619/1647-7251.13.1.6
Article received on January 4, 2022 and accepted for publication on April 13, 2022
JANUS.NET, e-journal of International Relations
e-ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
80
ACCEPTING ULTRAPERIPHERY: THE ROLE OF THE CONFERENCE
OF PERIPHERAL MARITIME REGIONS (CPMR) IN THE
TERRITORIAL MOBILIZATION STRATEGY OF THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE AZORES WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION
1
ANDRÉ PIMENTEL GARCIA
SANDRINA FERREIRA ANTUNES
Introduction
The territorial mobilization strategy of the Regional Government of the Azores (GRAA)
with the European Union (EU) is based on the use of all regionally based representation
channels provided by the EU, including the Transregional European Associations (TEA).
Among these, we highlight the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) which
the GRAA presided over during the 11th and 12th Governments, in the person of the
president of the GRAA Vasco Cordeiro between 2014 and 2020. The Europeanist vocation
of the GRAA (Valente, 2017) and of the successive governments manifests itself in a
strategy of strength in all channels of regional mobilization (Antunes and Magone, 2020).
The Autonomous Region of the Azores (RAA) is not limited to trying to remedy a condition
of apparent disadvantage, as is the case of the outermost regions. In fact, this potential
is used as a strength and an opportunity by the region, as attested by Vasco Cordeiro,
the President of the Regional Government of the 11th and 12th Governments of the Azores
(from 2012 to 2020) (interview 2021h). In the same line of thought, for the assistant to
the Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency for External Relations between 2012 and
2016 and Regional Director for European Affairs between 2016 and 2020: insularity is
not fought, it is accepted” (interview 2021b).
Therefore, it is in this particular context that the European political system emerges as a
structure of political opportunity that allows regional entities to compensate for their
peripheral position (Beyers and Kerremans, 2012). Participation in the European
decision-making process, through the institutionalization of formal and informal
channels, inside and outside European institutions, has allowed sub-national actors to
influence key institutional actors at European level (Tatham, 2008). The objective is to
influence the decision-making process in matters that may affect the interests of the
Region, on the one hand, and to monitor funding opportunities that can enhance regional
1
Article translated by Carolina Peralta.
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Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
81
development, on the other. The idea is to anticipate and sometimes override the action
of central governments, in a proactive attitude that has earned the name of national
bypassing (Keating et al, 2015).
The RAA's representation strategy with the EU as an Outermost Region (OR) does not
differ from the strategies developed by other similar political regions. Similar to what
happens with the German Landers or the Spanish Autonomous Communities, the GRAA
participates in the dynamics of representation that arise within the framework of
multilevel governance (MLG), seeking to promote the interests of the Azores Archipelago
through the use of different channels - or access routes - provided by the EU itself. In
this regard, Gary Marks (e.g. 1992 and 1993) was a pioneer in the operationalization of
this new dynamic of European multilevel governance. Due to a context of power
dispersion that operates upwards, for the European institutions, and downwards, for the
sub-state entities, regional (and sometimes local) authorities feel legitimated to
participate in decision-making at European level. This access is made through two routes,
the national route provided by the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European
Union (REPER) and the Brussels route, although the latter is the most favoured given the
freedom and autonomy of action it offers. It is in this last category that, along with the
Regional Offices in Brussels (Rowe, 2011; Tatham, 2010), the participation in the TEA,
such as the CPMR (Greenwood, 1997), stands.
Thus, by integrating the CPMR, the RAA fulfils the imperative signalled by Bomberg and
Peterson (1998: 229): any subnational authority that wants to influence decision-making
processes in the EU must position itself in coalitions within and between TEA. Thus, it can
influence institutions, listing, as a bargaining chip for access to political decision-makers,
the triad of information, experience and legitimacy (Beyers et al. 2008).
Whereas, on the one hand, the EU is understood as a structure of political opportunity
by subnational territorial authorities (regional and local), on the other hand, European
institutions need information from the domestic (including subnational) level, from
technical advice to potential compliance issues (Beyers and Karremans, 2007). In
addition, subnational entities, which actively participate in the download of European
guidelines, must also be involved in the upload process (Bursens, 2010: 163-164). Thus,
the territory is consolidated not as a neutral component, but as an interactive system in
which specific conditions, resources, ties and capabilities coexist.
However, the literature on RAA mobilization in the EU is quite scarce. The existing
literature essentially focuses on the mobilization of the Portuguese Autonomous Regions
in favour of the definition and consolidation of the Ultraperipheral Region (UR) (Valente,
2013, 2016a, 2016b and 2017). More recently, Callanan and Tatham (2014), as well as
Antunes and Magone (2020), contributed to the identification of the mobilization
rationales underlying the activity of regional and local representative offices. Still, the
dynamics of regionally based territorial mobilization via the TEA continue to be little
studied. Even so, the salience of the TEAs, namely the CPMR, is confirmed by the
aforementioned authors, as well as by the systematic mention in other studies of
territorial mobilization strategies (Bomberg and Peterson, 1998; Hooghe, 2007; Tatham,
2008; Rowe, 2011).
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e-ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
82
This article aims to fill this gap by identifying the purpose of the GRAA´s use of the CPMR
through the concepts of regulatory mobilization and financial mobilization (Callanan and
Tatham, 2014). With this purpose in mind, this article will be organized into five parts.
At first, it will identify the regionally based representation channels made available by
the EU, among which the CPMR stands out. Then, it will present the conceptual framework
of analysis and explain its methodological choices before presenting and discussing the
data. Finally, in the conclusion, it will make some general considerations and identify new
research paths.
1. Regionally based representation channels in the European Union: the
case of the CPMR
The EU offers multiple opportunities for regionally based territorial mobilization. This
process, through which interest groups move between access points, is called venue
shopping’, a term coined by Baumgartner and Jones (1993), which can be applied to
European dynamics. This concept refers to the search for the access point to the EU that
offers the best opportunities to achieve the actor's specific objectives. In the case of the
EU, the literature distinguishes between the national route and the European routes
(Loughlin, 1997; Hooghe, 1995; Greenwood, 1997). Within the latter, we identify formal
channels and informal channels (Beyers and Bursens, 2006: 1075).
According to Greenwood (1997), the national route refers to the mediation provided by
the national governments themselves through the Permanent Representation of Portugal
to the EU (REPER). The use of the national route depends on the role of the central
government in different stages of the European political process, including decision-
making in the Council and its implementation, i.e. it depends on the extent to which the
central state provides a familiar and convenient route of access to regional interests.
Greenwood (ibid.) describes centralization as conducive to successful use of the national
route. This is due to centralization providing better governmental coordination in terms
of European affairs. In contrast, for more decentralized states, coordination is more
difficult.
The Brussels route, also known as the European route, consists of the use of formal and
informal channels that involve direct representation in the European institutions (Antunes
and Magone, 2020). In fact, it is mainly on the Brussels route that we can speak through
formal and informal channels. In order to be characterized as formal, channels must
simultaneously fulfil two conditions (Kovzridze, 2002: 129): first, relationships must be
regulated by the constitution or any other document with legal status, such as laws or
intergovernmental agreements between levels of government; second, the relationship
between the structures (sub-state, national and supranational authorities) must be
ensured by inter-institutional coordination mechanisms, exercised on a regular basis.
Informal relationships are defined in opposition to the former, which is why they take
place without legally foreseen institutional mechanisms.
Within the framework of the Brussels route, the main formal channel of specifically
regional representation is the Committee of the Regions (CoR). There are other formal
channels, namely the European Commission, the European Council and the European
Parliament, which, although they are formal channels of representation, are nationally
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Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
83
and not regionally based. Informal channels of regional mobilization are based on
practices that are not required by law, but which are capable of eclipsing formal rules
(Kovziridze, 2002; Beyers and Bursens, 2006; Hogenauer, 2014) and becoming highly
institutionalized, used on a regular basis and relevant to regional mobilization strategies.
The main informal channels are essentially two: The Regional Representative Offices,
widely covered in the literature on territorial mobilization in the EU (Hooghe, 1995; Marks
et.al, 2002; Tatham, 2008; Rowe, 2011) and the TEAs, the poor relative of regional
offices given the little attention it has received from the literature.
Despite this lack of attention, the TEAs are important thanks to the characteristics of the
European decision-making process. This is the tendency to reward aggregate interests,
for reasons of legitimacy and efficiency, given the competition for time, naturally limited,
between interests (Bomberg and Peterson, 1998: 229). Also noteworthy is the more
explicit recognition of the need to involve regional and local government associations in
the EU policy process at European and national level with initiatives. Examples include
as the White Paper on European Governance, the "structured dialogue" with associations
of regional and local authorities and the provisions on local and regional authorities of
the Treaty of Lisbon (Callanan, 2012: 756).
The CPMR is a TEA that is part of the informal channels of the Brussels route, similar to
the Regional Representative Offices. Created in 1973 (CPMR, 1973) in Brittany, France,
by 23 regions from eight-member states, the CPMR is a TEA that aims to promote the
development of European territory, with special emphasis on the development of
maritime and peripheral regions. The CPMR functions as a strategic office (think tank)
and as a regional lobby, and is made up of around 114 regions. Its members come from
regions of 24 member and non-member states of the European Union, representing
approximately 200 million people. These regions are subdivided in the institutional
structure into Geographical Commissions
2
(GC) which, since 1980 with the emergence of
the first GC, of the Islands, correspond to the maritime basins of the European continent.
As an example of its dynamism, we can mention that the CPMR was very useful in co-
organizing conferences with the EC on issues where the latter felt that more consultation
was needed (Tatham, 2010), mainly due to its ability to mobilize maritime regions. In
fact, the CPMR is important, as attested by its mention in several works (Bomberg and
Peterson, 1998; Tatham, 2008; Rowe, 2011; Callanan and Tatham, 2014; Antunes and
Magone, 2020), with authors naming it among peers able to exert a significant presence
regarding EU mobilization.
Regarding the participation of the RAA in the CPMR, the RAA has been part of the
organization and has participated in its activities since 1979, even before Portugal joined
the then EEC. There are no records of the Azores having served as president or vice
president of the Conference before 2014, the year when Vasco Cordeiro was elected as
president of the CPMR, at the General Assembly in Umeå (Sweden). The election of Vasco
Cordeiro was repeated in 2016 in Ponta Delgada and in 2018 in Funchal, considering that
the terms of office are for two years. Even so, there is an effort on the part of the
governments of Carlos César, president of the Government of the Azores between 1996
and 2012, who also presided over the GC of the Islands for at least one term (interview
2
For additional information, check the CPMR website here: https://cpmr.org/who-we-are/geographical-
commissions/ acceded on 10 December 2021.
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e-ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
84
2021b; RTP-Açores, 2010). The TEAs, like the CPMR, have a role in promoting specific
regional interests when they overlap with those of other regions and can be
instrumentalized by some regions to advance their agenda (Tatham, 2008: 508). Still,
limited attention has been paid in the literature on regional mobilization to the TEAs
(Beyers and Donas, 2012). In contrast, the importance of networking in gaining influence
in EU policymaking processes has been repeatedly highlighted (Bomberg and Peterson,
1998; Tatham, 2008; Beyers and Donas, 2014).
Therefore, the strategy of mobilizing the RAA through the CPMR proves to be a case
study capable of filling the gap in the literature in terms of the study of the TEAs. Whereas
the prominence of the CPMR in the context of regional mobilization is proven by being
mentioned in several works (Bomberg and Peterson, 1998; Tatham, 2008; Rowe, 2011;
Callanan and Tatham, 2014; Antunes and Magone, 2020), the importance that the RAA
attributed to it is confirmed by the successive presidencies of Vasco Cordeiro. Taking into
account the conceptualization of the informal channels of the Brussels route, this research
seeks to ascertain whether the concepts widely used in the study of Regional
Representation Offices can be equally used in the study of a TEA.
2. The objectives of territorial mobilization: regulatory and financial
mobilization
This research is based on a conceptual reflection already developed (Callanan and
Tatham, 2014) on the types of mobilization that constitute the main rationales of regional
actors in Brussels: financial mobilization, which arises with the centrality of the issue of
cohesion policy in the study of subnational mobilization; and regulatory mobilization, less
explored and seen as arising from the EU regulatory bias (Majone, 1994).
By financial mobilization, we refer to monitoring and collecting information with a view
to accessing European funds for specific regions or areas. This mobilization is
characterized as a more reactive process, with an emphasis on obtaining rewards or
designing support for individual territories based on European funding schemes (Callanan
and Tatham, 2014: 191-192). By regulatory mobilization, we mean a proactive and
dynamic process in which regional and local governments seek to influence EU policies
and legislative outcomes. Emphasis is placed on activities designed to influence the EU
legislative process, where legislation has an administrative or financial impact on
subnational governments (ibid: 194).
Although Callanan and Tatham have used these notions to explain the mobilization
purposes associated with regional representation offices, we believe that this conceptual
framework can be equally useful to understand the mobilization logics underlying the use
of the TEAs, taking the CPMR as a particular case. In doing so, we intend to identify the
purpose(s) for which the GRAA uses the CPMR for the purposes of representing its
interests in the EU.
Finally, and similarly to what Callanan and Tatham argue, we believe that the GRAA, as
an Autonomous Region with substantial political competences, will privilege territorial
mobilization for lobbying purposes, that is, for the purposes of regulatory mobilization,
as follows: GRAA uses the CPMR mainly for regulatory mobilization purposes and
JANUS.NET, e-journal of International Relations
e-ISSN: 1647-7251
Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
85
residually for financial mobilization purposes. This hypothesis, while expecting a greater
prominence of regulatory mobilization, does not, however, exclude financial mobilization.
3. Research method and design
This paper consists of a case study (Yin, 2018: 49) that can be understood as an empirical
method that examines a contemporary phenomenon (the case) in depth and within its
context in the real world, especially when the boundaries between the phenomenon and
the context are not clearly evident. A case study addresses a situation where there are
many variables of interest and, therefore, benefits from the further development of
propositions to guide design, information collection, and analysis.
Also according to Yin (ibid: 50), we can highlight three distinct applications of this study
method. Case studies can aim at mere description, explanation or exploration. Thus, we
speak of descriptive case studies when the purpose is to describe and identify the nature
of a phenomenon. Alternatively, we speak of explanatory case studies when the purpose
is mainly to explain the occurrence of a certain phenomenon. Finally, we speak of
exploratory case studies when the purpose is above all to explore phenomena never
studied before, thus treading new paths of intellection. The case study in question can
be described as descriptive insofar as it seeks to identify the reasons for territorial
mobilization that guide the action of the GRAA with the EU, in the use of the CPMR as a
channel of informal mediation.
For the purposes of data collection, we favoured the use of primary sources through
interviews with eight politicians and technicians relevant in the relationship between the
GRAA and the CPMR. This sample is made up of almost all politicians at the highest level
of the 11th and 12th Azores Governments who worked daily on European affairs and
agreed to be interviewed. The initials of the interviewees resulted from a research in the
official sources of the GRAA, but also from the contribution of the interviewees, namely
at the level of the most relevant contacts in the CPMR.
Regarding the actual interviews, we prepared a semi-structured guide (Creswell, 2009),
with open and closed questions (Appendix I). According to Mathews and Ross (2010),
the semi-structured interview, with open and closed questions, follows a common set of
topics or questions for each interview. It introduces the topics or questions in different
ways or orders appropriate for each situation and allows the participants to respond to
the questions or discuss the topic in their own words. Semi-structured interviews can be
used for exploration, explanation and evaluation purposes. In this case, we use the first
two: exploratory research to understand what participants think is important about the
research topic and understand how they talk about it; and explanatory research to gather
information that will help explain people's experience and the social phenomenon in a
particular and profound way. For triangulation purposes, secondary sources were also
used, such as official documents, mainly from the CPMR.
Data collection refers to the time frame 2012-2020. This period starts in 2012 with the
election of the president of GRAA, Vasco Cordeiro, and ends in 2020 with the end of his
term. In 2014, Vasco Cordeiro was elected for the first time as president of the CPMR. In
2016 and 2018, Vasco Cordeiro was re-elected for the second and third time,
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Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
86
respectively. The year 2020 thus puts an end to the continuity of Vasco Cordeiro's term
as president of GRAA and the CPMR.
4. Presentation and discussion of data
In the interviews with the eight individuals, they were asked to assign a value from 1 to
5 to each of the CPMR's mobilization objectives, with 1 being not at all important and 5
being very important. The global results are shown in graph 1, showing the average of
the responses for each of the mobilizations.
Thus, regulatory mobilization is the most predominant, reaching an average of 4.9 out
of 5, while financial mobilization reaches an average value of 3.3 out of 5. Nevertheless,
the assistant to the Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency for External Relations
between 2012 and 2016 and the Regional Director for European Affairs between 2016
and 2020 (interview 2021b) admits the strong link that exists between both objectives,
as we will see later.
Graph 1 Importance of each mobilization for the CPMR. The scale used ranges from 1
(not at all important) to 5 (very important)
Source: Authors’ own
Looking in more detail at the results obtained in Graph 2 below, with regard to regulatory
mobilization, and similarly to what is mentioned in the literature (Callanan and Tatham,
2014), the preponderance of cohesion policy is obvious (7.5/8), maritime affairs (7.2/8),
after the energy continuum (6.5/8), environment (6.3/8), and climate change (5.2/8).
Accessibility also plays an important role in terms of mobilization opportunities (4.8/8).
Of the 'official' areas of the CPMR, the one that seems least important to the GRAA is, in
fact, the global agenda, especially related to migration. In the opinion of the Assistant
Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency for External Relations between 2012 and 2016
and Regional Director for European Affairs between 2016 and 2020 (interview 2021b)
and the Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency for External Relations between 2012
and 2016 (interview 2021g), although many ORs and other members of the CPMR receive
a significant flow of migrants, this is not an issue that poses a problem for the Azores,
which are positioned in terms of reception experiences (c.f. The Regions for Migrants and
Refugees Integration REGIN, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, 2021).
In this context, cohesion policy is the key component of the CPMR, especially for the
Azores, an OR considered a less developed region, with a GDP per capita below 75% of
the EU average (Antunes and Magone, 2020: 8). Part of the CPMR's work includes
3,3
4,9
012345
financial mobilization
regulatory mobilization
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Vol. 13, Nº. 1 (May-October 2022), pp. 79-97
Accepting ultraperiphery: the role of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR) in the
territorial mobilization strategy of the Government of the Azores with the European Union
André Pimentel Garcia, Sandrina Ferreira Antunes
87
advocating a strong cohesion policy that strengthens territorial cohesion in Europe. In
this context, regulatory recognition of the specific characteristics of the outermost
regions, safeguarded by Article 355 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and of other
territories that face permanent deficits, such as islands, mountain regions and regions of
low population density is particularly important (CPMR, 2013).
According to the Assistant to the Regional Undersecretary of the Presidency for External
Relations between 2012 and 2016 and Regional Director for European Affairs between
2016 and 2020 (interview 2021b), the question of balance of interests is also present
here, because, if the outermost regions defend a private disposition for themselves, the
other territories are also entitled to do so. This opinion is corroborated by the president
of the 11th and 12th Governments of the Azores (interview 2021h) when he states that
the CPMR is not oriented and was not even thought of to defend only the interests of
specific regions or even typologies of regions such as the ORs, but rather of all its
members
Graph 2 Averages of areas of regulatory mobilization ordered by GRAA interviewees.
The scale used is from 8 (most important) to 1 (least important).
Note: In blue, the conventional areas of activity of the CPMR. In green, the additional areas
suggested by respondents.
Source: Authors’ own
In the context of cohesion policy, the CPMR regretted the proposed decrease in the EC
budget, as well as the reduction in co-financing of regions with structural deficits, namely
the ORs (European Commission, 2018a: 106-107), and the maintenance of the statutes
concerned, in the Final Declaration of the 46th General Assembly of the CPMR (CPMR,
2018: 3-4). The CPMR played an important role in the crystallization of cohesion policy.
In 2017, the European Commission launched a public consultation on what is expected
of cohesion. It is curious that any reference to 'cohesion policy' was almost absent from
that consultation, there was talk of cohesion, but 'cohesion policy' was something that
was falling i