Eduardo Ferro: 'diasporas are much more than movements of populations'

“Diasporas are much more than movements of people: they are a source of cultural enrichment and pluralism in host societies and countries of origin,” said Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, this morning in Lisbon in his opening speech at the conference to launch the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies.

“It is also for that reason that particular attention is paid to support for and the allegiance of second generations, to their attachment to their community of origin, alongside their status as citizens of the states where they were born,” Mr Ferro said.

According to the Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament, “it is not possible to understand Europe without thinking of the diasporas through which other continents have influenced its culture while paving the way for building new states and nations”.

He added that diasporas had a positive impact on several levels, in particular in terms of promoting the image of countries of origin in host countries; the remittance of funds; technological know-how; relationships between cultures; and potential for establishing commercial projects, etc.

“With the launch of the Parliamentary Network on Diaspora Policies, the Parliamentary Assembly is providing further proof of its vitality and its commitment to contribute actively to the Council of Europe’s goals. I hope that this new initiative will be productive and that the Parliamentary Network’s discussions will help us to understand this complex reality more clearly,” said Mr Ferro in conclusion.