Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella welcomed the progress :
"In our Atlantic Action Plan adopted 4 years ago, we identified the priority areas where maritime research and investment could make a difference. Today, the Atlantic area is the world's leading region for wave and tidal energy. The first tidal devices are already generating hundreds of megawatts to the Scottish electricity grid. Just last month, a single device provided 7% of the Orkney islands' energy consumption in the first week of its continuous operation. In Spain, the government has allocated over 256 million euros to 23 cities on their Atlantic coast. This will support sustainable, integrated and people-oriented urban planning. It is a genuine example of how to create a socially inclusive and sustainable model of regional development, in line with our Atlantic Action Plan."
During the conference, 6 projects received the 2017 Atlantic Project Awards. The Atlantic Project Awards, established in 2016, honour outstanding success stories in the geographical area covered by the Atlantic Strategy and relevant to the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan. They promote individual projects, but at the same time highlight the incorporation and scaling up of best practices at regional, national, European and international level. This year's winners are:
A working meeting of the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investments Funds, which plays a key role in funding projects aligned with the Atlantic Action Plan, also took place at the margins of the conference.
The annual Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference (ASPC) offers an important opportunity to further promote awareness of the Atlantic Action Plan (AAP). The annual conference is the central hub for stakeholders of the Atlantic Strategy to meet, seek ways of cooperation, share information and identify funding opportunities and partnerships for their projects.
The Atlantic Strategy and its Action Plan aim to support the marine and maritime economy in the Atlantic Ocean by focusing on a set of key priorities and objectives corresponding to the needs of the region. It demonstrates how the EU’s Atlantic Member States and their coastal regions can help foster sustainable blue growth while preserving the environmental and ecological stability of the Atlantic Ocean. The Action Plan highlights the benefits of sharing information, costs, results and best practices, as well as seeking new areas of cooperation.
The European Commission set up the Support Team for the Atlantic Action Plan in August 2014 to provide guidance and proactive support for public and private organisations, research institutions and investors, to match funding sources and project partners across the Atlantic area to implement the Action Plan. The Commission is currently running a review of the APP taking stock of the progress and achievements so far, and looking into areas where improvements could be made. The results of this review and its follow-up will be discussed with the EU Atlantic Member States and other stakeholders in 2018.
All candidate Atlantic Award projects: http://www.atlanticstrategy.eu/en/news/2nd-atlantic-project-awards-2017