Last 3rd December, the Executive Bureau of Atlantic Cities met in Paris to adopt the political position of the network and its members in current European negotiations on TEN-T and its financial mechanism, accelerated negotiations within Brexit framework. .
The Bureau composed by representatives of Viana do Castelo, A Coruña, La Rochelle, Brest and Rennes, as well as with by delegation, Santander.
The European Commission proposal for the new Atlantic corridor was assessed and discussed.
Positive evolutions are observed, notably within Spanish and Portuguese parts, except the stretch Porto-Vigo and the connexion of Santander harbour which are not jet included.
Nevertheless, the French part of Atlantic corridor already proposed by Nantes/Saint-Nazaire is still largely lacking, as, a large party from West France is missing, completely out of the way. La Rochelle, the harbours of (Brest, Roscoff) and logistic links (Rennes-Brest, Rennes- Nantes) of Breton peninsula have to be included.
Therefore, in the context of new negotiations of UK exit from the EU, Atlantic cities insist on the need of conceive a real Atlantic corridor, from Portugal to Ireland, which can ensure an optimal articulation between Atlantic ports, logistic platforms and railway corridor. This approach is shared with other European institutions, such as the European Parliament or the Committee of the Regions. Also it relies in line with conclusions of European Council on Transport of 3rd December which highlights the need to include cross-border areas and to extent corridors to pending connections.
Furthermore, Atlantic cities express their concern at the low importance of key issues on the European agenda: climate change, sustainable development, transports regulation and maritime security.
The Executive Bureau will start to establish contacts and schedule meetings in early 2019, with the European coordinator for transport corridors, with the representatives of the Committee of the Regions, and with the European MEPs from the concerned countries, to promote a common front for the recognition of this extension of the Atlantic corridor.
The Association of Atlantic Cities, created in 2000, today represents more than 200 local authorities of the European Atlantic coastline, within a network linked directly to diverse European institutions, particularly, particularly in terms of dialogue for the impact of the Structural Funds of the European Commission, of the URBAN group of the European Parliament and of the INTERREG Atlantic Area program.