The Atlantic Arc Commission has set up a new Working Group to examine three key matters of importance to effective cooperation in the Atlantic. Matter include, improving the Atlantic Strategy, cooperation with UK partners after the UK has left the European Union, and pros and cons of a potential Atlantic Macro Region. These themes will be tackled within the new Working Group through individual Task Forces dedicated to each theme.
The Task Force on the Exploration of an Atlantic Macro Region, led by the Basque Country, held its first meeting in December 2019. The Task Force will be time-limited, involve as wide a representation of concerned regions as possible, including the Atlantic islands (Canary Islands, Azores, and Madeira), Outermost Regions, and connected networks of regions such as RESOE (Galicia, Castilla y Leon, Asturias, Norte, and Centro). The work of the Task Force will involve a broad examination of the thematic priorities of an Atlantic Macro Region, the most appropriate governance structure to ensure regions have a strong role in achieving these priorities, and ultimately aims to spur the Council to provide a mandate to the European Commission to launch the process of creating an Atlantic Macro Region.
The Task Force on Exploration of an Atlantic Macro Region will meet again on 20 February 2020 within the framework of the overarching Working Group on Cooperation in the Atlantic, back-to-back with the Task Forces on Third Country Cooperation and the Atlantic Strategy. These meetings will be concluded by a plenary session, adding a specific point on the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme.
The following day will be dedicated to the AAC Brexit Task Force led by Galicia and will focus on the coming negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, and on specific sectors where the Atlantic regions may feel a greater impact. A specific seminar on the outcome of the DESTINATIONS project will close the day.