The Atlantic Arc Commission


The Atlantic Arc Commission is one of the six Geographical Commissions in the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe, and its action, although specific to the requirements of its member Regions, is part of a more general framework.


The Atlantic Arc Commission was established in 1989 in Faro (Algarve, Portugal). It covers five states (Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal) in a territory spreading from Andalucía to Scotland. With some 60 million inhabitants, it represents 12% of the European population. The presidency of the Atlantic Arc Commission is currently held by the Cantabria Region (Spain).

Together, assets to promote and challenges to tackle

The Atlantic regions share an attractive coastline, a guardian of a high quality of life which offers opportunities for sectors of high potential such as maritime transport, maritime energies, marine research and innovation, and even shipbuilding and sailing. Yet this asset is also an environmental, social and economic challenge for our regions. In the same way, if the peripheral situation of the Atlantic regions is a vector for a strong identity and anchor for cultural heritage, it is also a major issue in terms of spatial planning and economic development.

An area of dynamic cooperation

The problems of accessibility, climate change, energy or maritime safety go beyond the scope of regional and national borders and justify trans-national cooperation. This cooperation can be seen in:

– Active working groups on policy areas such as transport, fisheries, marine and maritime research etc;

– Projects for citizens and territories: with a budget of 104 million Euros for the 2007-2013 period, the European programme Interreg IVB helps partners from the 5 states of the Atlantic Arc to develop joint actions;

– Close partnership with other Atlantic actors: The Atlantic Arc Commission works in close collaboration with cities, Chambers of Agriculture, socio-professionals and universities and has asserted itself as a leader in a wide-ranging initiative aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the Atlantic territory.

A source of proposals for Atlantic interests:

The Atlantic Arc Commission also has the task of promoting regional interests to EU bodies and member states. This role as a spokesperson is demonstrated through:

– The production of strategic documents;

– An active participation in consultations on European policies;

– Permanent exchange with representatives of EU and national institutions.

Preparing the future

Some twenty years after its creation and in a European context which is increasingly uncertain, the Atlantic Arc Commission takes action to foster more ambitious cooperation and to provide this area with new tools for tomorrow. It is therefore committed to:

– Promoting a more effective governance thanks to better coordination between European, national and regional levels;

– Moving on to a new stage in cooperation by making the Atlantic Arc an area where European policies are implemented, thanks in particular to the European Strategy for the Atlantic, which the Atlantic Arc Commission has greatly contributed to promoting;

– Preparing future European policies after 2013, in order to obtain tools to be able to reply to the challenges facing the Atlantic regions.


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