On November 21, the European Commission published its communication proposing a maritime strategy for the Atlantic Ocean area that would be consistent with the Europe 2020 Strategy, be based on cooperation and collaboration and bring added-value. The Strategy would be financed within existing programmes and will not create any additional impacts on the EU budget.
To assist communities living and working on the Atlantic coast to deal with the new economic and sustainable development realities, the challenges and opportunities of the new approach are divided into the following five themes:
- Implementing a healthy and productive ecosystem approach
- Reducing Europe's carbon footprint
- Sustainable exploitation of the Atlantic seafloor's natural resources
- Responding to threats and emergencies
- Socially inclusive growth to face the decline of unemployment
The rapporteur, Paul O'Donoghue (IE/ALDE), welcomes the proposal for a Strategy and the elaboration of an Atlantic Action Plan for 2014-2020, whilst stressing that the CoR endorsement is conditional on it adopting a broader approach, fully incorporating the territorial dimension. It raises the point that there is a need make share knowledge and experience garnered by the macro regions and also to include an assessment after the Forum ends to review its success. Moreover, the rapporteur raises a number of questions as to how exactly the Strategy will drawdown financial supports for its implementation.
Adoption of the Opinion foreseen at the CoR Plenary Session of 9-10 October 2012.