Tuesday 18 Jun 2024

Goans to feature in advisory body at Portuguese Consulate in UK

Council of the Portuguese Communities (CPC) to elect 12 councillors for the UK later this month

LUI GODINHO | NOVEMBER 10, 2023, 11:37 PM IST
Goans to feature in advisory body at Portuguese Consulate in UK

[From Left to Right] Chris Da Costa, Antonio Mota Cunha, Ciana D'Costa and Joao Cruz during a recent meeting with the Portuguese community of Goan origin at the Wembley church.



LONDON

There is good news for Portuguese national Goans living in Great Britain as Goans will run for elections for the first time to be Advisory Councillors of the Portuguese Community of Great Britain. 

The Advisories to the Portuguese Consulates in the UK is a part of the Council of the Portuguese Communities (CPC), for which 12 councillor seats will be contested with elections to be held on November 26.

The CPC is the Portuguese government's advisory body for policies relating to emigration and Portuguese communities living abroad and will raise issues and reduce hardships pertaining to any consulate work, incentive the promotion of Portuguese culture heritage and language.

According to details, elections for the CPC will be conducted to 12 seats for the Great Britain on November 26 from 8 am to 7 pm at the Portuguese Consulates in London, Manchester, Jersey and Embassy in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Free return coaches will be available from Southall, Hounslow, Wembley, etc. to take people to the Consulate to vote.

The CPC is composed of a maximum of 90 elected members, elected by Portuguese citizens residing abroad who are voters for the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic.

THE CONTESTANTS

Ciana D'Costa, Wilson Fernandes and Chris Da Costa are among the candidates seeking to contest the CPC elections as members of Antonio Mota Cunha's panel in the UK. Cunha is presently a permanent member of the CPC and leader of the panel.

“I was identified by some members to represent the Portuguese Goan community. I am humbled by this,” said Ciana.

“In my day-to-day life, I help Goans in need of advice either for personal or work-related issues. I feel empowered to continue to render advice and help as a representative at the Portuguese Consulate in UK to reduce hardships pertaining to any Consulate work.”

Antonio Mota Cunha along with Chris Da Costa, Ciana D'Costa and Joao Cruz have been meeting with the Portuguese community of Goan origin, to explain the aims and objectives of the CPC.

PORTUGUESE GOANS

The 12 CPC councillors would have meetings with the Portuguese diplomatic body, the Consuls, Ambassador for general matters, appreciation reports of Consulate activity and will discuss issues faced by all Portuguese residing in Great Britain, with specific of Portuguese Goans living in UK, especially with the Consulate matters. 

“The CPC councillors in the UK will work towards streamlining the process for Consular appointments. For example, post Covid pandemic, it was extremely difficult to book an appointment for renewal of ID card or Passport. Sometimes, people were compelled to travel to Portugal to renew their travel documents,” said a Portuguese Goan in London.

“Secondly, Portuguese Goans have to take an off from work to attend Consulate work. The CPC councillors in the UK will suggest for some convenient timings and have programmes in areas of high Portuguese Goan concentration.”

“There is also a need for a translator and better knowledge of the language. Majority of the Portuguese Goans do not speak Portuguese and suggestion to have future classes of Portuguese and to hire and administrator at the Consulate with knowledge of Konkani would be of great comfort to the Portuguese Goans.”

THE COUNCIL OF THE PORTUGUESE COMMUNITIES

According to information from the Portuguese embassy, the CPC is responsible for a number of activities. They include:

* Issue opinions, at the request of the Government or the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, on draft and proposed laws and other draft legislative and administrative acts, as well as on international agreements or Community regulations relating to Portuguese communities residing abroad.

* Produce information and issue opinions, on its own initiative, on all matters concerning the Portuguese living abroad and the development of the Portuguese presence in the world, and address them to the member of the Government responsible for the areas of emigration and the Portuguese communities.

* Formulate proposals and recommendations on the objectives and implementation of policy principles for the Portuguese communities.

* In matters of relevance to the Portuguese communities, the Council is consulted by the Government, on a mandatory, non-binding basis.

The duties of the Councillors of the Portuguese Communities include the following:

* Attend the meetings of the Council where they sit and of the committees that may be created and to which they belong.

* Present annually at the meetings of the Regional Council a report on the activities and situation of the community in the respective area of jurisdiction.

* Cooperate with the Portuguese communities.

* Cooperate with institutions or entities in the host countries on matters of interest to the Portuguese communities.

Share this