Urban Projects through the Atlantic Arc: the future EU cohesion policy

The project TONETA, driven by the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (CAAC) and led by Gijon in the framework of the Europe for Citizens programme, counts on the cooperation of CAAC cities and also involves, Cardiff, the Association of Municipalities of the Vale do Ave (AMAVE-Guimaraes), and AIRE 198 (Niort, Poitiers, La Rochelle, Angoulême). The main aims of TONETA is to give the transnational cooperations in the Atlantic Area a clear urban dimension, translating the subsidiarity principle into daily language; so active European citizenship shall become reality.
EU and Atlantic values will be at the basis of every action and will constitute the cross-cuting tool to ensure ownership of the results. It cannot be ignored that the countries of the Atlantic Arc have felt the effects of the current recession to a greater degree, and the local authorities are thus witnessing how their capacity to react is reduced. The exchange of best practices, projects that reach scale economies and wide involvement of civil society are sine qua non conditions to overcome the crisis.
This exchange of good practice has been crystalised in a report that summarises the relation beetwen urban Atlantic initiatives and the thematic objectives of the future EU cohesion policy.

Please find attached the document


CECICN works on Territorial Cohesion

Last Thursday, October 20th, CECICN experts met at Eixo Atlantico headquarters in Vigo. The Executive Bureau of the Conference of European Cross-border and Interregional Networks, CECICN, met in Galicia in a session chaired by Jean Peyrony, CEO and Xoan V. Mao, general secretary of the network. The meeting was attended by representatives of the 6 networks within the organization, CECICN, Mission Operationnelle Transfrontaliere (MOT), Iberian Cross Border Network (RIET), Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (CAAC), Forum of Adriatic and Ionian Cities ( FAIC) MedCities, and Union of Baltic Cities (UBC). These organizations represent more than 500 cities in the border territories, and over 37% of the European population. The main topic of the discussion was the profiling of the latest draft White Paper on Cooperation, whose work, which began in Paris last July, will be completed for discussion and subsequent delivery to the European Commission, on December. The document provides the vision of cities and territories of the European borders on the development of cross-border and transnational cooperation for the next period 2014-2020. Among other things, it states that in the distribution of European funds are contemplated not only the criterion of population but also the dispersion of the population. The paper also raises the need for financial and political momentum in transport, health, education and business policy in the field of border and peripheral territories and the disappearance of issues that hamper the development of these territories, such as obstacles to mobility problems or communications.
The CECICN Committee has noted with great satisfaction that some of the proposals already raised in this year and a half of existence, have been collected by the European Commission in the draft regulation that has been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council on October 6.

CECICN: Bureau meeting

CECICN’s political Bureau held its meeting last July 23th in Paris, at MOT headquarters. President Mr. Bugallo handed in his resignation, as he is not the Mayor of Santiago de Compostela any more; so there is opportunity for the other networks to present their candidates for the Presidency. After a short exchange between members there was an agreement about re-electing Mr. Bugallo as President of CECICN, so as to ensure current works until the next Bureau meeting. Regarding the General Secretariat, CECICN members agreed on the proposal of spliting it in two bodies:
– Executive Direction: MOT was elected for this position. Mr. Jean Perony will be the Executive Director of CECICN.
– General Secretariat: RIET was elected for this position. Mr. Xoan Vázquez Mao will be the Secretary General of CECICN.
Both bodies are at equal level and share responsibilities and tasks.
Due to the end of this year, CECICN is preparing a position paper on the importance of Territorial Cooperation, so as to prepare its future after 2013. All networks agreed on the importance of keeping the balance between cross-border and transnational experiences, as well as between all European areas.
The next October, the new secretary general is expected to hold a round of talks in Brussels with the President of the Commission on Regional Policy of European Parliament’s, Danuta Hubner, the European director for Cooperation, José Palma Andrés and the new director General for Regional Policy, whose appointment is expected in the fourth quarter, following the retirement of the current postholder, Dirk Ahner.
Among priorities, the organizing a European Conference on Territorial Cooperation in Denmark, the country that will hold the rotating presidency of the Union during the first half of 2012. This conference aims to set priorities for cooperation policy in the period 2014-2020 and defending co-operation of second generation.


European Commission

European Commission (Photo credit: tiseb)

In April 2010, six urban networks gathered in Santiago de Compostela, have created the CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN CROSS-BORDER AND INTERREGIONAL CITY NETWORKS – CECICN. CECICN is composed of cross –border and interregional city networks which develop cooperation actions between cities and other territories, as part of its general or specific work. Actually, the CECICN is a platform which groups the networks of cities from the Atlantic, Baltic, Mediterranean, Adriatic, Iberian and MOT. The network is chaired by Xosé Antonio Sanchez Bugallo and Philippe Duron, President of the CAAC is the Vice-President. Xoam Mao (RIET) is the Secretary-General and Jean Perony (MOT) is the Director-General.
The member networks consider as a must that both the European Union and the European Commission promote a second generation cross-border cooperation that takes into account the major achievements of the cross-border cooperation processes boosted by the European Commission during the last fifteen years. Moreover, this second generation cross-border cooperation would define and undertake a new political initiative for the development of border and peripheral territories starting from 2014, as an instrument for the economic development of these territories.

Member networks