The CPMR’s Atlantic Arc Commission (AAC) is taking the unique step of inviting young people with a keen interest in the maritime sector to its upcoming General Assembly.

The AAC is holding its General Assembly and Political Bureau on 1-3 March in the beautiful city of Les Sables d’Olonne (Pays de la Loire, France), which is the starting point of ‘Le Vendée Globe’, the renowned round the world sailing race. The event is being hosted by Bruno Retailleau, President of the AAC and France’s Pays de la Loire Region.

For the first time, young people from the local area are getting the opportunity to come along to the meeting and take part in key debates on the issues of blue economy and environmental protection.

Around 30 high school students and students involved in maritime training at Les Sables d’Olonne will get the chance to speak with elected officials from 17 Atlantic Arc Member Regions (from Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland and the UK) and European representatives.

President Retailleau, who will chair both the Political Bureau and the General Assembly, said: “Young people are the future of Europe, and they have ideas we need to listen to, particularly at this time of change.

“The Atlantic Arc Commission is currently involved in a project to develop a Masters Degree in Blue Biotechnologies, so we recognise the potential of the younger generation. We are excited to hear their views at our meeting.

Other issues for discussion will include discussions on the implications of Brexit and issues including innovation, marine renewable energies, fisheries and aquaculture as well as Transatlantic cooperation.

Mr Christos Economou, Head of Unit from DG Mare, will attend the event, as well as Dr Stéphanie Bordenave from the University of La Rochelle, Mrs Christelle Céleste from an offshore-wing farm project in France and Mr Patrick Deixonne, Director of the ‘7th Continent’ expedition.

More information, including the agenda for the meeting, is available on the Atlantic Arc Commission website.