On 17 November 2015, the European Commission adopted the 2014-2020 Atlantic Area Programme, worth EUR 185.3 million with a contribution from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of EUR 140 million.
Fostering innovation, promoting a resource efficient economy, protecting the Atlantic territory against risks of natural and human origin and enhancing the natural and cultural assets are the key areas of focus of the Programme seeking to link local and regional actors in the Atlantic area.
“This transnational cooperation programme offers concrete opportunities to encourage innovation in all sectors involving private and public stakeholders, while protecting the region’s rich natural resources. It is consistent with the EU sea basin strategy for the Atlantic Ocean and its Action Plan. I am convinced that it will be beneficial to the sustainable development of regions, cities, towns and rural areas in the Atlantic area,” declared Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy.
The new Programme promotes cooperation between the Atlantic regions from France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and the United Kingdom. It has expanded to the Canary Islands (Spain), the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira (Portugal), granting a stronger geographical coherence.
The first call for projects is foreseen to be launched in the first half of 2016.