Affirming the importance of territorial co-operation when implementing European policies, supporting the consideration of the urban dimension in the different structural fund programmes, debating on the future of
the Cohesion Policy; these were the main challenges at the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities General Assembly, to held on 30 June and 1 July in Niort (France). This year the General Assembly was being organised by the AIRE 198 network, a player and tool at the service of sustainable development which includes the project coordinating cities and urban agglomerations of Poitou-Charentes. This partnership will be a chance to show the mushroom effect and the importance of cooperations and networks, above all in the
implementation of European policies and the affirmation of the urban dimension as a true factor of development of EU.
Bringing forward together a common vision on EU challenges is even more important when the European Commission has launched, after publishing its fifth report, a dialogue about the Cohesion Policy and its future in the period from 2014 to 2020. The report concludes on the proven efficiency of the policy, concerning job creation and improving of environment and life quality in related territories. There are, however, also notes about necessary improvements in the field of collaboration among local players, the involvement and association of regional and local entities, the concentration of investment in more environmentally-friendly transport and the reform of the assessment system.
As elected representatives, we must seize the opportunity to manifest our support for maintaining a European cohesion policy and the awareness on Atlantic Arc as a whole. In a context of world economic crisis, social and territorial cohesion topics become main issues for Europe. Means to be used should be developed, especially structural funds as they enable an undoubted leverage in the application of local policies. Social cohesion and proximity, territorial cooperation and local partnership, Atlantic Arc and urban dynamics are vital topics that we should defend together to build the future European Cohesion Policy.
Chairman of AIRE 198
City Council of Angoulême -Chairman of Grand Angoulême
For reading the common policy position on Cohesion Policy, please click here (IN FRENCH)
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.
In the meeting in Niort, the second day and after a short introduction made by Mr Philippe Duron, CAAC President, Jean-Paul Carrière, from the University of Tours, expounded the challenges that concern the Atlantic Area, and which were described in the Atlantic Development Scheme. These challenges shape the framework of the future of this macro-region, especially concerning the Atlantic Arc Strategy. As for the urban dimension, he stressed polycentrism as a key for development, as shown by Cohesion Policy results.
Please see his presentation here.