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Start signal for PASSAGE project

Published the 20 May 2016

PASSAGE project, approved last February by the Interreg Europe programme, aims at increase consideration for the cross-cutting low-carbon challenge within 5 maritime border regions covering 6 European straits. On 12 May, the 11 project partners gathered for the first time in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, to launch the activities of the project.

At the invitation of Pas-de-Calais County Council, lead Partner of the project, this first meeting took place in Boulogne-sur-Mer. On the agenda: a morning of conference to contextualise the projet within major environemental issues and challenges confronting European straits.

Michel Dagbert, President of Pas-de-Calais County Council, highlighted the importance of PASSAGE project, "a new step to find concrete solutions to issues that affect our strait territories", and thanked the partners for their engagement beside Pas-de-Calais County Council. Seven of the eleven partners of PASSAGE project are also members of the European Straits Initiative.

The morning continued with a contextualisation by the expert in geopolitics and founder of the LEPAC, Jean-Christophe Victor, who put forward the strategic role of European straits and the need to anticipate the main stakes linked to the transformation of the world economy and climate change. Kaarin Taipale, elected representative from Helsinki-Uusimaa regional Council insisted on the role of local public authorities in the implementation of Paris agreement on climate and in achieving sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Philippe Vasseur, president of the Regional chamber of commerce and industry of Nord de France, gave a more local angle through the Third Industrial Revolution developped in Nord - Pas-de-Calais with the theorician Jeremy Rifkin.

The 11 project partners have signed the Partnership agreement engaging them for the next 4 years and answered the questions of journalists.

In the afternoon, PASSAGE project partners have discovered a concrete initiative on the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer: the experimentation and adaptation of the fishing boat La Frégate in the Framework of the Fish2EcoEnergy project lead by the association "France Pêche Durable et Responsable". The project enables a significant reduction of carbon emissions linked to fishery. To end the day, project partners experienced the sustainable development approach implemented by Pas-de-Calais County Council in the "Grand Site des 2 Caps", with the objective of making Dover Strait (one of the most frequented straits of the world) an attractive and pleasant area to live.

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