Goals of the III Franklin D. Roosevelt Azorean Forum

In 2008, the Regional Government of the Azores and the Luso-American Foundation jointly inaugurated a discussion forum on pressing issues in transatlantic relations. Due to its geographical location and unique history, the Azores is both symbolically and politically important within the context of the transatlantic relationship. Every two years, the Forum gathers academics and policy-makers from both sides of the Atlantic to address a timely, pertinent theme.

This event aims to serve as a “safe harbour”, half-way across the Atlantic, for in-depth debate about the Euro-American partnership and its role in addressing common global challenges like poverty, global warming and international peace and security. We believe that constructive and frank dialogue between policy-makers and academics can operate as a valuable tool in international relations.

The name of the Forum pays tribute to President Roosevelt’s remarkable role in 20th Century foreign policy and his special attention to the fascinating geopolitical issues posed by the Azorean Islands, which he visited during World War I while serving in the Wilson Administration.

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The first forum, devoted to the theme “Transatlantic Relations in European and American Public Opinion”, took place in Ponta Delgada, on the Island of São Miguel, from July 16 to 18, 2008.

The second edition, entitled “Transatlantic Relations and the Emerging Balance of Power”, was held in Angra do Heroísmo, on Terceira Island, from April 14 to 16, 2010.

As in previous editions, the third Franklin D. Roosevelt Azorean Forum hopes to convene multiple perspectives and disciplines to discuss not only current matters of interest in the transatlantic relationship, but also the historical evolution of Europe-USA relations, as well as the geopolitics of the Atlantic and of the Azores throughout the 20th Century.

With Sea-related issues high on the current national and international political agendas, it is a fitting time to emphasize the Sea’s importance as a living realm in possession of a wealth of resources requiring careful management and protection. The transversality of the marine universe inspires special attention. Furthermore, the transatlantic dimension of the Sea has proven particularly pertinent in Portugal-US relations, justifying the selection of this topic for the III Franklin D. Roosevelt Azorean Forum, which also reflects the Sea’s overwhelming influence in the shaping of Azores’ identity and destiny.

This year’s edition of the Forum will be held in Horta, on the Island of Faial, from April 27 to 29, 2012. Its program will be devoted to the theme “The Sea in History, Strategy and Sciences”.

Depiction of Ponta Delgada Harbor commissioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt and painted by Charles Edwin Ruttan. In the foreground is the USS Dyer, the destroyer on which FDR sailed to Europe in 1918 when he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. 

Copyright: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum