The President of the “Atlantic Cities” and Mayor of Viana do Castelo, José María Costa, has been awarded with the Personality of the Year award at the 2019 Lusofonía Awards. Other categories include figures such as the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and the photographer Sebastião Salgado. The winners include personalities from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal.
The prize was presented on February 27th by the Instituto do Mundo Lusofono (IMLus) at the Salon de la Paix in Paris (France), whose objective is to encourage, stimulate and support actions that promote the affirmation of the Portuguese language, as well as the Portuguese-speaking communities.
José María Costa is Mayor of Viana do Castelo since 2009 (currently in his third term). Since then, the city has received several awards under its administration; like the 2018 Atlantic City of the Year and the Best city to live in Portugal in 2018, in the economic sector.
Chemical engineer (by training), José María Costa holds the position of head of the Portuguese Delegation in the European Committee of the Regions, is President of the Iberian Network of Transfrontier Entities and member of the Steering Committee of the World Surf Cities Network, as well as confrere of the Universal Archconfraternity of the Apostle Santiago.
As a mayor, José María Costa was also invited by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to participate in the prestigious meeting of the Global Parliament of Mayors, which was held in Bristol between October 21 and 23, 2018.