Atlantic Stakeholders gathered in Lisbon to engage with the Strategy

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Following the events occurred after the first Lisbon Atlantic Conference (LAC), which took place two years ago, and where the European Commission officially announced the EU Maritime Strategy for the Atlantic Area, this event gave us a unique chance to look at a streamlined vision for the Atlantic addressing blue growth and sustainability, boosted by a long period of stocktaking outreach in mobilizing and engaging Member States, regions, municipalities, the science community and the business sector, together with an unprecedented intercontinental cooperation engagement.

LAC 2013 provided not just a “peer review” kind of perception for the audience about the progresses made so far, but, most of all, an important moment to identify future opportunities in the framework of the EU and National Ocean Strategies and dedicated Action Plans, with the aim at achieving an intelligent, sustainable and inclusive growth within the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal zones.

These, included the alignment needs between EU, Member States and its regional and local action plans, and the preparation of the future Member States Operational Programs and the EU Territorial Cooperation Programs, within the scope of the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020, and beyond, to ensure that blue growth research and innovation requirements are well addressed in the societal challenges covered by Horizon 2020, for example.

This conference also aimed to provide a setting to gather European Member States and Atlantic neighboring States from the American and African Continents.