Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on the Atlantic Strategy

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THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
— welcomes the proposal for Developing a Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area and the elaboration of  an Atlantic Action Plan 2014-2020;
— stresses that the Committee’s endorsement of an Atlantic strategy is conditional on it adopting a broader approach, fully incorporating the territorial dimension, developing clear links between land and sea and contributing to the achievement of other key EU policy objectives and calls therefore on the European Commission to re-title the strategy as “An Integrated Strategy for the Atlantic Ocean Area”;
— recognises that projects under the Atlantic Action Plan will have to use existing sources of funding, at EU level (funds within and outside the Common Strategic Framework (CSF)) and other funds from national, regional and local levels and the private sector;
— disagrees with the proposed abolition of the Atlantic Forum once the Action Plan is adopted and suggests that the Atlantic Forum remain in place, up to 2020, to oversee the implementation, review progress and drive delivery of the strategy’s objectives;
— suggests that the governance structure must maximise the contribution of the many stakeholders and potential actors in the Atlantic strategy and demands that a multilevel governance approach be applied, in the elaboration, implementation, evaluation and review of the Action Plan.

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