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

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Cardiff: Integration of biodiversity funding into future Cohesion Policy

Against the background of the imperative to protect our natural diversity we are facing the challenge to finance management measures for our natural environment.

European funds provide different opportunities to complement the financing of national, regional and local nature conservation measures in the member states to preserve the precious natural assets and cultural landscapes. The European approach for financing of Natura 2000 suggests that all nature conservation measures must be integrated into all EU funds.The Environment Agency Wales is hosting the final SURF Nature conference in Partnership with Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).  Since 2010 the project has collected good practice information about Biodiversity and nature conservation.

This conference will present key policy recommendations on integrating biodiversity and nature into post-2013 EU programmes and be held in Cardiff on 27th September 2012.  The Conference is an important calendar event that will include a session by John Griffiths AM, the Welsh  Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Welsh Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and European Programmes, Alun Davies and a host of other EU, Welsh Government and Third sector dignitaries.

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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.

ANATOLE: The importance of local production in cities

In comparison to an economy based on production exported abroad, a proximity economy seeks to produce and develop goods and services within a specific area, based on the needs of the people living within. AC3A, the association of agricultural chambers of commerce with the Atlantic Arc City Conference has set up a project under the title Atlantic Networks’ Abilities for Towns to Organise Local Economy (ANATOLE).
Co-financed by the European Union – ERDF, on the Atlantic Area Programme, ANATOLE Project seeks to analyse strengths and weaknesses of aspects relating to proximity economies in order to draw up, alter the appropriate diagnosis, proximity economy engineering under the auspices of the region’s cities. ANATOLE therefore seeks to grant cities a coordinating role, using new and innovative proximity economy organisational methods. The project brings together rural operators, organisations which mediate between producers and cities, and the cities or other regional bodies from the Atlantic Arc.

The project, which was also presented at the Niort meeting, has its own website and blog. Please visit, share and comment.