EPRSLibrary By / September 27, 2013

The EU Strategy for the Atlantic Area

The Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic Area, published in May 2013 by the European Commission, sets…

© Arnaud Tafilet / Fotolia

The Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic Area, published in May 2013 by the European Commission, sets out four priorities for research and investment in the eligible regions of  the five Member States (United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Portugal and Spain) participating to the Atlantic Area programme to drive the ‘blue economy’ forward in this region:

© Arnaud Tafilet / Fotolia
© Arnaud Tafilet / Fotolia
  • Promote entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment;
  • Improve accessibility and connectivity;
  • Create a socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development.

The actions will be financed by existing EU programmes and they should be in line with the implementing priorities set out in the Partnership Agreements of the five Member States concerned.

This Library Keysources provides a selection of relevant documents on EU Cohesion Policy Strategy for the Atlantic area.

Institutions’point of view

European Parliament

European Parliament resolution of 13 September 2012 on the EU Cohesion Policy Strategy for the Atlantic Area, P7_TA-PROV(2012)0341, 13 September 2012

European Parliament resolution on the European Strategy for the Atlantic Region, P7_TA(2011)0089, 9 March 2011

European Commission

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Action Plan for a Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area; Delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, COM(2013) 279 final, 13 May 2013

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions developing a maritime strategy for the Atlantic Ocean area, COM(2011)782, 21 November 2011

European Council

European Council conclusions, EUCO 104/2/13 REV 2 , 27-28 June 2013

The European Council endorses the Action Plan for the implementation of the Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean area (endorsed by the Council of the European Union on 25 June 2013).

Committee of the Regions

Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on ‘Developing a maritime strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area’, Rapporteur Paul O’Donoghue, (2012/C 391/01), 18 December 2012

European Economic and Social Committee

Opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council,  the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Developing a Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area COM(2011) 782 final, Rapporteur Pariza Castanos, CES(2012)1298, 24 May 2012

Stakeholder views

The Atlantic Strategy Support Platform an InterACT + Atlantic “AtlantACT” / Atlantic Arc Commission, 5 p.

This document provides information on  a support platform for the Atlantic, modelled after the InterACT programme.

Contribution from the CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission to the European  Commission’s call for suggestions concerning the priorities of the Atlantic Strategy Action Plan / Atlantic Arc Commission, 13 February 2013, 14 p.

This document presents the CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission’s proposals for structural actions to be included in the Action Plan to foster sustainable growth and employment in the Atlantic territories while strengthening the territorial cohesion of this area.

Connecting Smart and Sustainable Growth through Smart Specialisation: A practical guide for ERDF managing authorities / European Commission, DG Regional and Urban Policy, November 2012 – see especially the Appendix – Possible synergies with other EU Initiatives (p. 94 – 98)

This guide presents concrete recommendations and examples of good practice that show potential ways forward in the implementation of the new programmes.

Assistance in elaboration and prospective evaluation of the Atlantic Action Plan / DG MARE, 18 September 2012, 20 p.

This report presents a short overview of the baseline situation in 2012, examples of existing, related projects and finally suggestions for consideration when drawing up the action plan.

EU Programmes and Projects

Operational programmes

Atlantic Area transnational programme 2007-2013

The Atlantic Area programme is a transnational programme set up in the framework of the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013. This programme covers the following regions of Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal and United Kingdom. A summary of the operational programme ‘Atlantic Area’ can be found here.

Annual Implementation Report 2011 / Atlantic Area Transnational Cooperation Programme 2007 – 2013

The purpose of this report is to provide the European Commission with updated information on the financial implementation of the operational Programme and the steps taken by the Programme management bodies to ensure the quality and effectiveness of implementation and to report on the use of technical assistance.

The beneficiaries and operations of the 2007-2013 Atlantic Transnational Cooperation Programme can serve as example of what can be done with European existing funds that participate at the development of macro-regions.

The Community Initiative Programme INTERREG IIIB “Atlantic Area” 2000 – 2006 fosters transnational cooperation on issues common to the regions of five Member States linked by the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean. The capitalization mission aims to optimize the results attained by listing, analyzing and disseminating good practices of the Programme and the projects.

Projects examples

This sub-section presents the selected projects for each priority in the Atlantic Area Programme 2007-2013 and other relevant projects.

Compedium of projects / Atlantic Area Operationnal Programme 2007-2013, March 2013, 188 p.

The compendium provides detailed information on all projects, and the regions of the Atlantic Area. Currently, cooperation is carried out by 63 projects cofinanced by the ERDF. A number of successful projects can be identified in this compendium, they are distributed among the various priorities and objectives set out for the programme.

Priority 1 – Innovation Networks

Priority 2 – Marine Environment & Renewable Energies

Priority 3 – Accessibility & Transport

Priority 4 – Urban development

Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic (TPEA)

TPEA, a project co-funded by DG MARE involves ten governmental and research partners from Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK, which examines critical elements of the cross-border planning process in the context of legal and policy frameworks, participatory approaches and technical considerations.

Preparing for 2014-2020 programming period

The European Commission’s recommendations on the Atlantic region priorities can be found in the position papers of the Commission Services on the development of Partnership Agreement and programmes for the period 2014-2020 for the concerned EU Member States: Ireland (see p. 12-14, 18, 25); France (see p. 9, 19); Portugal (see p. 15, 18, 39, 42, 43); Spain (see p. 9, 18, 22, 29, 31); and United Kingdom (see p. 12-14, 24).

In order to identify needs and existing potential in the Atlantic area, which could be addressed by means of transnational cooperation in the 2014-2020 programming period, a working group composed of representatives from all member states participating in the current Programme are developing the first steps towards the drafting of the new Operational Programme.

For more information see the list below:

EU funding instruments 2014-2020 – funding for future Atlantic actions / European Commission

This paper presents the EU’s funding instruments covered by the Commission’s Common Strategic Framework and the general regulations laying down the objectives and management of the EU funds for the period 2014-2020.

Other funding may include public-private partnerships, the European Investment Bank, public-sector and private funding sources. A strong partnership between business and the public sector will be critical in ensuring the long-term success of the Atlantic strategy.

Sea-basin Strategies and EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020: Legislative proposals / Vicente Rodriguez Saez, DG Regional Policy, Deputy Head of Unit for European Transnational and Interregional Cooperation, Santander, 1 June 2012

This document highlights the methodology and the tools used in the implementation of the Atlantic Strategy under the ETC legislative framework.

Atlantic Strategy and the EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 / Vicente Rodriguez Saez, DG Regional Policy, Deputy Head of Unit for European Transnational and Interregional Cooperation and Christian Faure, DG Maritime Affaires and Fisheries, Deputy Head of Unit MARE.C.3, 22 February 2012

This presentation offers an overview on the macro-regional and sea-basins strategies, such as the Atlantic set up in the European Territorial Cooperation legislative framework.

Useful websites

The Atlantic Forum, led by DG MARE and DG REGIO proposes possible projects for funding in the Action Plan, creating a new infrastructure to support the blue economy and develop innovative ideas to face common challenges.

The Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (C.A.A.C.) is a network of more than 100 local entities which works with different institutions in order to provide a tangible mechanism that creates synergies between different actions at local and transnational level.

Atlantic Arc Commission is one of the six Geographical Commissions in the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe which promotes regional interests to EU bodies and member states.

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