The Atlantic Cities Association – ACA is today a unique and single voice for Atlantic cities in Europe, promoting and defending their interests, “placing its voice at the centre of debates” (J. Costa, Mayor of Viana do Castelo and ACA’s President) establishing and reinforcing cooperation across the Atlantic Arc, through the promotion of joint actions between members and the exchange of best practices and solutions for common problems. In this regard, cooperation through ACA is key to counter and fight the negative impacts of the covid19 pandemic crisis and its economic effects.
As the Atlantic Cities Association – ACA reaches its 20 years in 2020, we can be proud of the network achievements, like the approval of the Atlantic Maritime Strategy by the European Council and the recognition of our expertise by the European Institutions. Since our foundation on July 7, 2000, we managed to consolidate the association as the Atlantic Urban forum, we gathered influence across the Atlantic Arc and the European Union, we worked on more than 200 project proposals and we count nowadays with a reinforced General Secretariat.
Today we represent more than 350 local authorities and 7 million inhabitants of the European Atlantic coast, positioning ACA as a major stakeholder of the Atlantic Arc. This role is reaffirmed through our active participation as an expert at EU level on different bodies and organizations (European Space Agency, Urban Intergroup, Committee of the Regions, Structural funds, etc), and we can affirm that we share a successful model of cooperation, as in the words of Xosé Sánchez Bugallo, Mayor of Santiago de Compostela, founding member of the Atlantic Cities network (2020), “We learn from each other and together we all work to improve the life quality and the expectations of our citizens”.
As a common basket of resources, the Atlantic Cities Association is a fundamental platform for the EU strategy of its member cities:
– Exchanges and cooperation: ACA supports cooperation between its members and beyond through the exchange of good practices, peer to peer learning as well as the transfer of knowledge and innovations.
– Advocacy of Atlantic public interest: ACA enhances the political stance of its members as local governments providing technical, theoretical and political support and referring to its large network of European contacts, notably in the quest for the recognition of the Atlantic macro-region.
– Fundraising: the association ensures a continuous strategic follow-up materialized through monthly newsletters of funding opportunities. Moreover, thanks to its 20 years of unique experience in proposal writing and European project management, ACA offers its support and advice in European projects
– Promotion and visibility: Atlantic Cities help its members attract tourism, investment and talent by proposing initiatives that increase their visibility such as Stella Atlantis.
New EU framework
- An enhanced cooperation in the form of a macro-region in response to the challenges of the Atlantic territory and the Brexit effects. Therefore, contributing to a balanced development of the European territory by promoting territorial cohesion.
- Giving a local and common response to the ambitious economic, social and environmental objectives set out in the EU Strategy 2019-2024 and the effects of the crisis.
- Acknowledging cities as drivers of growth to become full actors in the development and implementation of European policies in the framework of the new Urban Strategies (Leipzig Charter).