Atlantic Arc Cities

The Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities (CAAC) has been advocating the potential of cities and territorial cohesion since 2000. The members of the network have also implemented this philosophy through projects; in particular through European programmes such as URBACT.

Launched in 2002, URBACT aims at promoting the sustainable and integrated development of cities by offering opportunities of joint work, learning from each other and networking among them around a common topic. It has been a tool of Cohesion policy and contributing to the urban dimension of Europe since 2007.

As an international association of cities, the goals of the CAAC as the Atlantic Urban Forum are truly related to the URBACT programme. Indeed, the article 2 (2) of CAAC statutes states that “the Conference shall foster cooperation actions between its members and provide support for exchanges between citizens of the Atlantic seaboard, especially through projects and the sharing of experience.” Moreover, in April 2017, following their last General Assembly on Viana Do Castelo, Atlantic cities reiterated the importance of Cohesion policy as vital for the future of Europe as an urban continent.

As member of the Monitoring Committee of the Interreg Atlantic Area programme, CAAC can share its expertise about urban matters in the Atlantic Area and beyond. For instance, as a resource centre for its members, the network advised more than thirty INTERREG proposals last year. One third were approved in 2017 such as ecoRIS3 and Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs. The association also contributed to previous projects, including Cultur*At, Imagina Atlantica, Anatole and ATBrand, as well as several URBACT initiatives.

In this context, the expertise and position of CAAC as a transnational network would reinforce URBACT’s ability to support European cities to enhance their urban policies. In order to apply the European Code of Conduct on Structural Funds, networks like the Atlantic Cities should be invited to participate in the URBACT monitoring committee.

 

Martin Joubert

CAAC- European affairs

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