As a first post, I would like to present you the Atlantic Urban Forum, aka the Conference of Atlantic Arc Cities, aka CAAC. This international association was created in 2000 by the then Mayor of Rennes, Edmond Hervé. It currently has 22 members representing 275 local entities and 8 million inhabitants of the European Atlantic coast. Currently, the President is the Mayor of A Coruña, Mr. Carlos Negreira.
Without losing their own identity, Atlantic cities strengthen their European position through the critical mass reached in a trusted network. CAAC is based on the “co-opetition”: not only is a tool for cooperation but also for competitive differentiation. This co-opetition is organized around six basic instruments, the six “C’s” of the Conference:
- To be a Club of cities
- To be a Community both of cities and citizens
- To be a Centre of Resources for local authorities
- To carry out Campaigns, not only lobby but also awareness-raising
- To develop Cooperation through projects and exchanges
- To facilitate the Communication of the potential of the Atlantic Arc
The Atlantic Urban Strategy is supported in other two transversal instruments:
- An ascending perspective: the actions of lobby and the European projects arise from the expectations and experiences of the members, real actors of the network
- A universal perspective: the Atlantic cities are the node that connects Europe with the rest of the world .
This association is the only transnational urban network of the Atlantic Arc and the natural scenery of exchange, action and reflection of the cities “located in the Atlantic Arc, willing to participate or interested in its dynamics”. The aim is to find ways to implement the potential of the Atlantic cities within the EU policies and to foster the urban dimension of them. Therefore, CAAC represent both its identity and that of its members.
Already in 2008, the Atlantic cities decided to give a new direction to their development, anticipating to the green principles of the Europe 2020 Strategy. In addition, the “Atlantic Charter of San Sebastian” enounced the need for a sophisticated strategy for the Atlantic Arc. Its fifth chapter foresees the proposal for a closer cooperation and coordination in our area.
Today, the mobilization of the Atlantic Urban forum and its partners is eager to promote the transformation of the Atlantic Maritime Strategy in a full macro region, so that urban, regional, national and European policies would be coordinated around a full territorial approach.
We will go into detail in further posts, however, should you want to contact us, please do so at headquarters (a) atlanticcities.eu
Tamara Guirao, CAAC Coordinator