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The European Straits Initiative presented to the French Minister for Development (Paris, 2 July 2013) Forum of communities’ international action

Published the 11 July 2013

More than 1 500 officials and technicians from territorial communities, central administration officials, French government representatives and members of foreign delegations met on 1st and 2nd July 2013 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in order to attend the 4th Forum of communities’ international action, organised by Cités Unies France. The French Minister of Development, former European MP, discovered an original initiative presented by the Pas-de-Calais County Council: The European Straits Initiative, a decentralised cooperation network, which is maritime, multilateral and European at the same time.

This forum brought together most of the agents of decentralised cooperation, French local authorities, large associations of French and international communities, such as UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), the world of associations, and businesses involved in local development. The objective was to favour public-private synergies in the field of decentralised cooperation aiming at the enhancement of international community action.

Presentation of the European Straits Initiative to the Minister Pascal Canfin

Within this context, a parallel event was organised at the stand of the Nord-Pas de Calais region concerning the European Straits Initiative, an original, multilateral, maritime and European decentralised cooperation initiative, at a forum that is usually focused on the continent of Africa. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the ambition of this initiative is to propose to partners in North Africa to join the network, which currently consists of 15 local communities located on the coastline of 8 European straits. Thus, contacts were made right at the beginning of the partnership, in 2010, and will be pursued in the future with communities located around the Strait of Gibraltar (Morocco, Spain, and United Kingdom), Sicily (Tunisia), and the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits (Turkey).

During the visit of Pascal Canfin, French Development Minister, at the Nord-Pas de Calais stand, the European Straits Initiative was presented, as well as the NOSTRA European project, the first concrete result of the Initiative. One of the objectives of the initiative being better recognition of the specificities of straits at European level, awareness-raising among national high-level decision-makers constitutes an integral part of the European Straits Initiative lobbying strategy.

 

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