The Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (CAAC) is a network that brings together more than 100 local entities and 7 million inhabitants of the Atlantic Arc. This network works for the urban development of the European Atlantic territories.
Last November, CAAC welcomed the publication of a European Commission communication on the Atlantic Arc whose content and themes reflect the initiatives that this network has been advocating for more than ten years. The sea is at the heart of the identity of the territories of the Atlantic Arc.
The sea presents a global issue of economic, social and cultural development, of security and sustainable development. The valorisation and preservation of this exceptional environment contribute to the attractiveness and the radiation from these territories. A better consideration of the interface of sea-land, the promotion of strategic infrastructure, the definition of a coherent and efficient transportation system, the issues related to knowledge, research and innovation, or the fight against climate change, are themes which must feed this strategy.
The cities of the Atlantic façade have all the capabilities to become major European economic actors. Their port cities are clearly best placed to feed the traffic with the American or African continent and to decongest the maritime traffic in the English channel and the North Sea. So they invented a new means of transport such as the motorways of the sea which are used to strengthen the necessary link between and within regions. Cooperation between the port places and with the hinterlands are key to territorial cohesion in the Atlantic Arc.
Finally, CAAC wishes to emphasize that the European strategy for the Atlantic must also rely on local authorities and the stakeholders of the territory, so as to ensure an integrated development approach.