A brief by Stéphane Ridou, EU project manager at CAAC
On the 15th and 16th of May 2014, around 50 representatives from the five countries of the Atlantic Arc gathered in Rennes following the invitation of the Regional Council of Brittany in order to discuss the possibility of a third edition of NEA, a project aiming to create a sustainable development of the marine leisure sector by encouraging transnational cooperation through:
- Seaside, sports and nautical leisure activities
- Industry, trade and services
- Ports and Marinas
By 2020, NEA3 would seek to double the number of jobs in this field that counts around 85.000 dedicated workers along the Atlantic Arc. In the long run, the project also has the ambition to create a nautical cluster.
A continuous success
NEA3 relies on the successes of NEA1 and NEA2, financed by INTERREG Atlantic Area (ERDF). In 2004, partners have laid the foundation stone of a sector whose revenue is now close to 9 billion euros in the European Atlantic area. For the past ten years, the joint effort has been well received and the challenges are renewed every time. Marine leisure has now become a sector unto itself and not only related to tourism as it used to be. With a range of new and innovative activities, the main objective is now to attract locals and not only tourists. The Atlantic Arc benefits from 25.000 km of seacoast and, in terms of employment, jobs related to marine leisure cannot be removed from the Atlantic seaside while skills can easily be transferred from one region to another. Reconquering the potential of the coastal dimensions are the stakes for NEA.