Jul 23

CPMR participates in Black Sea Basin Joint Programming Committee meeting, 17-18 July 2014

The activity led by its Balkan & Black Sea Commission has enabled CPMR to obtain observer status within the drafting committee of the Black Sea Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020, co-funded by the EU neighbourhood and pre-accession instruments (ENI and IPA). The Committee met on 17 and 18 July in Brussels, in the presence of a CPMR representative to move forward on the preparation of this programme, and in particular to define its priorities and thematic objectives. All relevant details will be given to CPMR Regions at the Balkan and Black Sea Commission meeting on 24 September in Umeå.

In this regard, the CPMR has contacted the managing authority of the programme (Romanian Ministry in charge of Regional Policy) and the European Commission (DG Devco) to support the request of the Greek North Aegean Region to be included in the cooperation area. This Region was not a stakeholder in the programme in 2007-2013.

Jul 23

CPMR Transport Working Group prepares the Regions’ participation in CEF Forums

(c) EC

On 7 July in Brussels, the representatives of CPMR’s geographical commissions set out the Regions’ expectations regarding their effective participation in the forums in charge of preparing the work plans of the 9 TEN-T priority transport corridors, which will be co-funded by the CEF. These forums will hold their third meeting at the end of September/beginning of October, attended for the first time by Regional representatives.

The working group took advantage of its meeting to draft a letter from Eleni Marianou, Secretary General of the CPMR, to Olivier Onidi, Director at DG Move, suggesting arrangements for regional participation in these forums. This letter also asks the European Commission to specify how the territories on the periphery and located far from the routes taken by these corridors could be taken into account by the CEF, and how the Motorways of the Sea will contribute in practical terms towards these objectives.

Finally, the CPMR is asking the Commission for the two first progress reports on each of the corridors to be made available to the regional authorities concerned. It is clear that unless they are given comprehensive information, the Regions will not be able to contribute satisfactorily towards drawing up these work plans.

Jul 23

Atlantic Arc Regions actively prepare their involvement in TEN-T Corridor Forums

The CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission’s Transport Working Group met on 8 July at the Basque Government Delegation to the EU to reaffirm its desire to take part in the third “TEN-T Corridor Forum” scheduled in Brussels during the last week of September. The Atlantic Arc Commission is concerned by two of these corridors, the Atlantic Corridor and the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor. As regards the Atlantic Corridor, this participation will be ensured by the Basque Government (ES) which will formally represent the Atlantic Arc Commission as leader of the AAC Transport working group in the person of Imanol Leza, Director for Transport of the Basque Government.

The EU institutions provided their input to the work of the Transport Group through the participation of Izaskun Bilbao Barandica MEP, member of the Transport Commission, and Carlo de Grandis, Policy Coordinator at the European Commission, DG Move, who detailed the stages for drafting the TEN-T and the new powers assigned to the Corridor Coordinators, especially with regard to the Atlantic rail corridor. Carlo de Grandis also highlighted the importance of Motorways of the Sea, a cross-cutting priority that will benefit coastal regions since it will help to establish connections between small ports and core ports for example, as well as between ports and their hinterland.

The CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission will continue its involvement in the Forum through its member Regions and will help to draft the work programme on the implementation of the Corridor planned for the end of 2014. The long-term objective is also to continue working to redefine alternative maps that genuinely take into account the peripheral areas of the Atlantic. The maps are due to be renegotiated with the Member States in 2022, but the Regions need to start taking action as far ahead as possible.

More information: http://www.arcatlantique.org/index.php?act=1,4,2,3#

Jul 22

Atlantic Arc Regions spotlight on Ocean Energy Forum

The CPMR Atlantic Arc working group on Marine Renewable Energy met on 25 June 2014 in Brussels in the presence of its coordinator and Director of Maritime Issues & Sea and Coastal Development”, Yvan Guiton, representative from the Regional Council of Brittany.

Participants attending the meeting represented the regions of Brittany (FR- Working Group coordinator), Pays de la Loire (FR), Poitou-Charentes (FR), Aquitaine (FR), Basse-Normandie (FR), Border Midland Western (IE), Scotland (UK), Asturias (ES), Cantabria (ES), Basque Country (ES), and also the Atlantic Transnational Network. The feedback on the Ocean Energy Forums held in Brussels on 4 April 2014 and in Dublin on 11 June 2014 was one of the focal points of their discussions, and all delegates firmly confirmed their interest in continuing their participation in this Forum. The next Forum meeting will be held in September 2014 and it will prepare the Ministerial meeting scheduled in Paris (FR) for October by the European Commission (DG Mare) in the framework of the Ocean Energy Europe Annual Meeting. This ministerial meeting will gather the Energy Ministers from European Member States involved in Marine Renewable Energy with the aim of approving the creation of this Forum and establishing its priorities. In preparation of this Ministerial Meeting, the Atlantic Arc Commission worked on a joint position to defend an integrated regional approach to develop marine renewable energy (MRE). The Atlantic Arc Commission aims to establish policy recommendations from the Regions’ point of view in order to ease the rapid deployment of MRE along the Atlantic seaboard. This position will be put to the vote during the Atlantic Arc Commission plenary meeting in Umeå (SE) next 24 September, in parallel to the CPMR General Assembly.

Jul 22

A “Cluster of Clusters” on marine energies for the Atlantic

The Final Conference of the Atlantic Power Cluster Interreg project was held on 2 July at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute (EHICF) in Santander (ES), at the invitation of the Regional Development Corporation of Cantabria (SODERCAN) and the Spanish Centre for Research on Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT).

This project, co-funded by the ERDF under the EU Atlantic Area transnational cooperation programme, kicked off in 2012 with the aim of proposing a transnational strategy on marine renewable energy in the Atlantic Arc by creating an environment conducive to its development. The CPMR Atlantic Arc Commission has offered its contribution through the production of a benchmarking study on marine renewable energy in the Atlantic Regions that were partners in the project (17 in all).

The ultimate objective of the project was to promote stakeholder collaboration within the MRE sector through a “Cluster of Clusters”. This challenge was met with the signing of a cooperation agreement between Atlantic clusters. In addition, the project developed a detailed mapping of the many stakeholders within the regions to help put them in contact with one another. Social acceptance and vocational training were also highlighted during the conference, insofar as MRE cannot be developed without proper education and professional training adapted to the needs of this sector.

The President of Cantabria and of the Atlantic Arc Commission, Diego Ignacio Palacios, took part in the conference, expressing his satisfaction on the achievements and recalling that Cantabria and the Atlantic Regions were keen to “get involved in the development of marine renewable energy.”

This project has laid the groundwork for transnational cooperation in the field of MRE from which the Regions may find a niche for jobs for highly trained young people and increase the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2020.

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