Ireland Engages with the Atlantic Arc Commission

Atlantic Arc VIP'sMs Ciara Delaney, the newly appointed Irish Attaché on Maritime Affairs based in the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU, Brussels, outlined the Irish Government’s very positive views on the benefits of a European Union Strategy for the Atlantic (EUSA) to the Atlantic Arc Commission at its General Assembly Meeting in La Rochelle, France on 10th June.


“The EUSA” she said “provided a unique opportunity for EU Atlantic Member States to work together to optimise the potential of their marine resources for job creation and sustainable growth”.  

General Assembly of the Atlantic Arc Commission, La Rochelle, 9th – 10th June 2011 (left to right) Ms Ciara Delaney, Irish Attaché for Maritime Affairs, Irish Permanent Representation to the EU, Brussels, Mr Laurent Beauvais, President of the Atlantic Arc Commission and of the Region of Basse-Normandy, Mr Paul Nemitz, Head Unit C-1, DG MARE, Geoffrey O’Sullivan, Marine Institute. 

The Atlantic Arc Commission (AAC) is one of the six geographical commissions of the Confederation of Peripheral Maritime Regions ( that co-operate to promote initiatives of mutual interest to their regions.  The AAC is an active supporter of the EUSA initiative.  

Mr Paul Nemitz, DG MARE, told the Assembly that the Commission intended to publish a Communication on the EUSA in the autumn and then initiate a dialogue with Member States and stakeholders to identify specific initiatives and implementation tools to be included in the EUSA Action Plan. The Action Plan, he said, would be designed to optimise the unique characteristics and resources of the European Atlantic, including its significant renewable marine energy, bio-resources and tourism potential.  

Implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Europe 2020 Strategy by Member States is central to the EUSA.  

Also attending the General Assembly were Mr Joe Flanagan (Chairman) and Mr Gerry Lavelle (Programme Executive) representing the Border and Midlands and Western Region. Mr Geoffrey O’Sullivan (Marine Institute) was also present representing a pan-European FP7 Project, SEAS-ERA, that is developing a Strategic Research Agenda for European Atlantic Sea-Basin as an input to the EUSA.    

The Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions ( is a network of 160 Peripheral Regions representing 28 European countries. Ireland is represented by the Border, Midlands and Western Regional Assembly (BMW). The CPMR works to ensure that EU institutions and national governments take account of their common interests, and cooperate on practical projects in order to enhance their assets.

The Atlantic Arc Commission (AAC) is one of the six Geographical Commissions of the CPMR, The Atlantic Arc Commission covers 27 Atlantic Regions who co-operate to promote initiatives of mutual interest. These have included the first trans-national prospective study of the area entitled "Europe 2000" and the selection of the Atlantic Arc as a territory for the implementation of the INTERREG cooperation programmes. More recently, the AAC has been an active supporter of the proposed European Union Strategy for the Atlantic (EUSA) and have made significant inputs to its aims, objectives and modus operandi