National study days of the ANEL (French association of elected representatives from coastal areas) took place on 5, 6 and 7 October 2016 in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, seaside resort of Pas-de-Calais. Blandine Drain, Vice-president of Pas-de-Calais County Council, seized the opportunity of the welcome speech to remind the engagement of the County Council within the European Straits Initiative and through the contribution to the National strategy for sea and coastal areas.
Local elected representatives, MPs and senators of coastal territories from metropolis and overseas had made an appointment to discuss major stakes of their territories in the context of territorial reform and climate change. This year, the city of Le Touquet-Paris-Plage was hosting the annual congress of the ANEL, due to the presidency of Jean-François Rapin, senator of Pas-de-Calais: the opportunity for Pas-de-Calais County Council to underline its commitment to the "European collective approach" of the European Straits Initiative, through the voice of Blandine Drain, Vice-president of the County Council.
In presence of Mr Jean-Michel Baylet, French Minister for territorial planning, rurality and local authorities, Ms Drain reminded the great environmental, technological but also human challenges that straits' territories have to face. She also underlined the importance of the networking approach to find relevant solutions, through the example of the Interreg Europe project PASSAGE (Public AuthoritieS Supporting low-cArbon Growth in European maritime border regions) approved at the beginning of 2016. The Vice-president of Pas-de-Calais County Council also highlighted the contribution of the European Straits Initiative to the project of National strategy for sea and coastal areas, through the voice of Pas-de-Calais County Council. Three straits of the partnership are directly concerned by this strategy that the French States aims to implement: Dover Strait, Strait of Bonifacio and Corsica Channel.
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