Photo: General Assembly of the Atlantic Arc Commission, La Rochelle, France: 9th - 10th June 2011. Left to right: Mr Laurent Beauvais, President of the Atlantic Arc Commission and of the Region of Basse-Normandy; Mr Paul Nemitz, European Commission, DG MARE; Mr Geoffrey O´Sullivan, Marine Institute. Photograph courtesy of Fabien Mesclier, CPMR.
The SEAS-ERA Project, and in particular WP6 (the Atlantic Region), would greatly assist the work of the Atlantic Arc Commission he explained. It would do this by (a) providing an up-to-date inventory of the marine research policies and strategies of the Atlantic seaboard countries stretching from Norway to Portugal and (b) in preparing a draft Marine Research Plan/ Strategic Research Agenda for the European Atlantic Sea Basin. The Research Plan would identify the unique characteristics of the Atlantic region, detail the opportunities and challenges for sustainable development and identify the necessary research and research enabling actions. He looked forward, he said, to greater engagement between SEAS-ERA, the Atlantic Arc Commission and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions in promoting development (Europe 2020 Strategy) and good environmental status (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) in the Atlantic area.
Mr Paul Nemitz, DG MARE, told the Assembly that the Commission intended to publish a Communication on a European Union Strategy for the Atlantic (EUSA) in the autumn and then initiate a dialogue with Member States and stakeholders to identify specific initiatives and implementation tools to be included in a EUSA Action Plan. "The Action Plan", he said, "would be designed to optimise the unique characteristics and resources of the European Atlantic, including its significant renewable marine energy, bio-resources and tourism potential". "Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Europe 2020 Strategy by Member States will be central to the success of the EUSA" he added.
The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (www.cpmr.org) is a network of 160 Peripheral Regions representing 28 European countries. The CPMR works to ensure that EU institutions and national governments take account of their common interests, and cooperate on practical projects in order to enhance their assets. The Atlantic Arc Commission (AAC) is one of the six Geographical Commissions of the CPMR. The Atlantic Arc Commission covers 27 Atlantic Regions who co-operate to promote initiatives of mutual interest. These have included the first trans-national prospective study of the area entitled "Europe 2000" and the selection of the Atlantic Arc as a territory for the implementation of the INTERREG cooperation programmes. More recently, the AAC have been active supporters of the proposed European Union Strategy for the Atlantic (EUSA) and have made significant inputs to its aims, objectives and modus operandi.
Source: Geoffrey O´Sullivan, Marine Institute