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European initiative promoting the North region arrives at Bolhão

The "Europe in My Region" initiative kicked off on 10 November with the launch event at Mercado do Bolhão, in Porto. With several activities scheduled until December, the project aims to highlight the action of the European Union (EU) in the various regions and celebrate their traditions and cultures



At the inauguration of the initiative, Chef Rui Paula cooked two dishes with regional products available at the stalls of the historic market. "Thanks to the region's and the European Union's investment, places such as Bolhão or Pinhais continue to be part of our daily life and identity," the Chef mentioned.

"Taste is Our North" serves as the motto for the activities that will be held until December 10 at Bolhão and Conserveira Pinhais, in Matosinhos, which received support from European funds for their recent transformations.

Among excursions, training, competitions and cooking sessions, the initiative is aimed at families and schoolchildren.

In Bolhão Market, on 15, 16, 22 and 23 November, there will be breakfasts with students and a visit to the space, at 9.30 am. In Matosinhos, at Conserveira Pinhais, on 22, 23 and 24 November, there will be visits by students to the space and a drawing contest. On 3 December, also at the cannery, a closing lunch will take place at 12 noon and the winner of the drawing contest will be announced.

Rui Sousa said that "the aim of the initiative is to bring the European Union closer to people and to show that it is also present at a regional level, although people still see it with great distancing".

The North is the second Portuguese region to take part in the European action, after Madeira, which has activities throughout this month. According to Rui Sousa, from Europe Direct [extension of the European Commission in Portugal], there are plans for the programme to expand in 2023 to more regions of Portugal, such as the Azores, the South and the Centre region.

Cátia Meirinhos, coordinator of the Mercado do Bolhão Office, said that "there is the goal for the market to become a food reference in the city". And recalled that "European funds participated in the requalification of Bolhão, with 15 million euros".

"The investment that was made in Mercado do Bolhão is economic and touristic, but also the preservation of our culture and our ancestors," said Jorge Sobrado, from the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-Norte), who attended the launch event, in Bolhão Kitchen.

About the presence of European communities at regional level, and namely in the North region of Portugal, Jorge Sobrado stressed that "in the North region alone, there were about 24 markets that are reopening, at this moment, and that had the support of about 300 million euros from the European Union".

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