Atlantic Cities

To all Atlantic Mayors

This year, the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities will celebrate its 18th anniversary. This symbolic coming of age implies that we have to assume our political responsibilities at European level in a more energetic way. The moment we live is crucial for the survival of cohesion policy, at least as we understand it now; from regional operational programs to transnational cooperation, everything is in question. That is why the central theme of our General Assembly revolves around the proposals that the European Commission will present in May.

We must also renew our territorial commitment, our geographical brand, redefining our strategy around a certain number of key points. In this context, the invitation of Gipuzkoa and San Sebastian to hold the Assembly is equally symbolic: June marks the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of the San Sebastian Charter, a document that has driven our action in the last decade. Today we have to redirect our common work and that is why in the Executive Bureau of Rennes in March I have proposed the realization of a Prospective study on the challenges of the Atlantic Cities after 2020. The General Assembly will represent the launching of this study whose results must be presented by the end of the year.

In this sense, I would like to insist on the need to extend the network and its impact to a greater number of Atlantic cities. The General Assembly of San Sebastian must host not only the members of the network, but also the Atlantic sister cities or other local entities associated within European projects. So, I would like to ask you to convey this invitation to other Mayors who are likely to participate in the study and, why not, in our network.

The General Secretariat of the CAAC is at your disposal for any additional information.

Looking forward to seeing you in San Sebastian next June 14 and 15


José Maria Costa

President of the Atlantic Arc Cities

Leader of the Portuguese delegation at the Committee of the Regions

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