A real presence of the Atlantic Transnational Network in Lisbon

On November 28th,2011, a consequent delegation of the RTA-ATN, consisted of representatives of various Economic and Social Councils of the Atlantic Area regions (Aquitaine, Limousin, Basque country, Galicia and Canarian Islands), was in the Portuguese capital and participated in the presentation of the Atlantic maritime strategy by the European Commission then, the next day, in the Forum of the stakeholders.

The participation of the ATN in these two days and the action led to strengthen the visibility of the network of the social and occupational organizations was widely successful. It was marked by numerous interventions underlining the stake in the contribution of the civil society on the occasion of the speaking of the European Commission and Parliament or of the President of the ATN himself, Mr. Luc PABŒUF. The intervention of Mr. Luis Miguel PARIZA, reporter in the opinion of the European Economic and social Committee in preparation on this subject, also widely valued the interest of a strong implication of the regional civil society and the quality of the works already delivered by the ATN.

The participation of the ATN in the thematic forums of stakeholders which will be organized in2012 ineach one of the five countries of the Atlantic facade (Portugal, Spain, France, Ireland and Great Britain) and thus, its contribution to the next stages of the elaboration of the action plan of the strategy seems expected.

At the same time, numerous spot contacts allow to envisage the extension of the ATN to new partners in Portugal but also in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.

Beyond the formal meeting with Mr. Pascal TEIXEIRA DA SILVA, Ambassador of France in Portugal, and Mr. José Albino DA SILVA PENEDA, President of the national Economical and Social Council of Portugal, various contacts were established with Messrs João PINTO GUERREIRO, Vice-chancellor of the University of Algarve and Jorge GONÇALVES, Vice-chancellor of the University of Porto, which seem to be interested to join the ATN, as well as with diverse interlocutors representatives the Portuguese State (in particular Major João RIBEIRO FONSECA, Account manager of the State Secretariat for Maritime affairs), Committees of coordination for regional development and professional organizations which say themselves inclined to accompany the network in its research for new partners. In the same way, tracks are opened inIrelandwith the support of Mr. Gerry FINN, Director of the regional Assembly BMW (Border, Midlandand Western Regional Assembly) and in theScotlandwith the help of the Argyll and Bute Council.