"The scene for implementing the EU's Maritime Strategy in the Atlantic area is set; now it's time for action. Today we already see ambitious projects at national level, but there is still a lot of room for cross-border cooperation, whether on grid connectivity, innovation clusters or maritime safety. Helping Member States and regions to work together is where the Atlantic Action Plan can be most valuable," Mr Vella said.
The European Commission formally adopted an Atlantic Strategy Action Plan on 13 May 2013, as part of its commitment to preserve and promote maritime activities in the Atlantic. It aims to encourage joint projects and cross-border cooperation between the EU's five Atlantic Member States: France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and the UK.
Today's conference will see stakeholder-led workshops and match-making activities that should help participants to identify suitable project ideas and cooperation opportunities. Areas covered include maritime safety and security, climate change, sustainable management of marine resources, and the exploitation of the Atlantic area’s renewable energy potential.
Commissioner Vella will go on to meet fishermen and other fisheries representatives from the Brittany region today, as well as NGOs working on marine affairs. He will also pay a visit to the port of Brest and the local fish market.