As you know, this year marks the beginning of a new European configuration that we cannot attend as witnesses; we must therefore act as citizens’ representatives.
The President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, recently presented the White Paper on the future of Europe. The Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities intends to analyze it and contribute to it with its vision and expectations.
As the Atlantic Urban Forum, our first objective is look at the future and the limits of cohesion policy and the European urban agenda. Next, I would like to propose to the cities of our network a new map that really takes into account the extent of the Atlantic Ocean and specially our British neighbors.
Secondly, we must seize the opportunity of the European Year of Cultural Heritage and jointly build a strategy of attractiveness of tourism, culture and talent that will serve to put Atlantic assets at the service of the sustainable development of our territories.
Finally, I would like to propose the presentation of a European Maritime Agenda to the EU institutions. We must determine our development plans in cooperation with our citizens and economic players, with a view to the continuity of the territory; an Atlantic territory that stretches from the coast to the hinterland.
Our logic of development is geographical: we envisage a better networking of the resources and the citizens of our territories.
I would therefore be delighted to welcome you to the General Assembly of the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities on 28 and 29 April.
José Maria Costa
President of the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities