• The Association of Atlantic Cities

Atlantic Cities is an association, composed of 20 local authorities that represent almost 400 municipalities. It was created on July 7, 2000 in Rennes, by M. Edmond Hervé (then Mayor of the City). The goal was to create a network with and for the cities placed at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, the platform wishes to develop a collaborative relationship between its members and to enable them to be heard by the European institutions, without forgetting citizen dialogue at the continental level.

It was formerly known as the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (CAAC)

  • Who are the members?

The members of Atlantic Cities are: Cork, Lisboa, Faro, Viana do Castelo, A Coruña, Avilés, Donostia San Sebastián, Gijón, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Santander, Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, La Rochelle Agglomération, Brest Métropole, Grand Poitiers, Cotentin Agglomeration, Lorient Agglomération, Rennes et Rennes Métropole and Saint Nazaire Agglomération. The official languages  are: Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. Currently, the President of the Association is Mr José Maria Costa, Mayor of Viana do Castelo and President of the Portuguese Delegation of the Committee of the Regions.

  • How it works?


The General Assembly brings together the members of the association. This official body is intended to define the ideas and actions to be taken by the organization. Moreover, they debate on European themes with the aim to express their opinions and share experiences on different topics.

The Bureau Meeting is a Management Board. It is composed of the President and the following Vice-Presidents: David Samzun (Mayor of Saint-Nazaire and President of Saint-Nazaire Agglomération), Gema Igual (Mayor of Santander) and Sylvie Guerry-Gazeau (Vice-President of La Rochelle Agglomération). Nathalie Apéré is also part of the Executive Bureau as Mayor of the city of Rennes, which holds the Honorary Presidency. The Executive Bureau allows following and deciding the lines of action of the association, it claims for the optimal execution of resolutions approved by the General Assembly, and coordinates the work of the Thematic Commissions. The Chair-cities of the Thematic Commissions are members of the Executive Bureau as well.

  • The interest of the Thematic Commissions

The Thematic Commissions have a technical nature and they support the members in the implementation of projects. Their actions rest upon the topics the Commission works in. They are a source of expertise as well.


The current themes and presidents of the Commissions are:

  1. Ocean and Blue Growth: Brest Métropole and François Cuillandre as President of Brest Métropole and Mayor of Brest City;
  2. Participation: A Coruña;
  3. Sustainable Urban Development: La Rochelle Agglomération and Sylvie Guerry-Gazeau, as Vice president of La Rochelle Agglomération and Mayor of Clavette.

  • The support of the General Secretariat

The Secretariat has a supporting and coordinating role on the actions, as well as the spokesperson of its members before the European Union and its Institutions. The General Secretariat is constituted of three working areas: EU/projects, Administration and Communication. Currently, Ms Tamara Espiñeira  is the Secretary-General since 2016.

  • A competition to stand out


The Atlantic Cities holds since 2012 an annual competition called the Atlantic City of the Year. This competition allows an Atlantic city to increase its European notoriety and to make its actions known. The conditions are simple, it is necessary to be situated by the Atlantic Arc and act consistently with the Charter of San Sebastian.