European Straits Initiative

What is ESI?

The European Straits Initiative, launched in 2009 by Pas-de-Calais County Council and Kent County Council, the lead partners, now brings together 11 straits, representing 23 partners from Albania, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Sweden and United-Kingdom.

In light of the lack of consideration of the economic, environmental, social and human challenges that affect straits, providing real links between the hinterlands and outside territories, as well as laboratories for the implementation of an integrated maritime policy, ESI works towards the recognition of the specificities of European straits in current debates and the launch of structuring projects in these territories.

On Tuesday 23 November 2010, in the head office of Eurotunnel in Coquelles, fifteen European local authorities bordered by a strait were welcomed by the Deputy Leader of Kent Country Council, and the President of Pas-de-Calais County Council, lead partners of the European Straits Initiative, to sign the network's founding Memorandum of Understanding.

On 22 October 2014, in Brussels, joined by four new communities, the partners confirmed their commitment during the conference of the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding, co-chaired by Mr Michel Dagbert, President of Pas-de-Calais County Council, and Mr Mark Dance, member of cabinet of Kent County Council.

The objective of this memorandum of understanding is to connect authorities with similar geographical systems. The 2 main aims of cooperation are:

  • have the specificities of European straits recognised in European policy
  • work towards the emergence of exchange of experiences and European cooperation projects

Under the second objective, several projects have been supported by the European Union:

- the INTERREG IV C NOSTRA (Network Of STRAits) project (2012-2014) on cross-border governance of the straits for the protection of biodiversity was launched: www.nostraproject.eu

- the Interreg Europe PASSAGE project (Public AuthoritieS Supporting low-cArbon Growth in European maritime border regions), approved in 2016, on low-carbon transition of straits at the heart of maritime border regions: www.interregeurope.eu/passage

Video of the launch of the initiative:

News

Gulf of Finland - FinEst Link demonstrates feasibility of a tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn

The results of the FinEst Link project, officially displayed in February 2018, demonstrate the technical feasibility of a railway tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn. [Read more]

PASSAGE project - European straits take action to reduce carbon emissions

From April 2018, go for the implementation of the cross-border action plans designed by the partners to reduce carbon emissions in their straits. [Read more]

Dover Strait - Pas-de-Calais County Council receives a label for its expertise

The French ministry of Europe and Foreign affairs acknowledges the expertise of Pas-de-Calais in “cross-border cooperation on maritime borders”. [Read more]

Maritime border regions and straits’ areas at the heart of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2017

Several ESI partners have highlighted and discussed the specific challenges of maritime border regions and, more specifically, straits’ areas. [Read more]

Strait of Bonifacio & Corsica Channel – MARITTIMOTECH gets to the heart of the acceleration path

MARITTIMOTECH Interreg project launches its accompanying course for entrepreneurs in the field of blue economy. [Read more]

European straits regret that maritime borders have been forgotten in the call for pilot actions "B-Solutions"

The European Commission launches a call for pilot actions “B-solutions” in border regions. Unfortunately, maritime borders are not eligible. [Read more]

Dover Strait - Building a bridge across the strait?

This is the idea suggested by Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary. [Read more]

Inputs from straits’ areas shared with Interact "Knowledge of the seas" network

PASSAGE project partners were able to share their thoughts on what really matters when it comes to cooperate across maritime borders. [Read more]

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Events

European maritime day 2018

from 31 may to 1 june 2018

view all events

Contact

Direction Europe et International
Conseil départemental du Pas-de-Calais
rue Ferdinand Buisson
62018 ARRAS Cedex 9
FRANCE 

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