Celtic Unity: Strengthening Cooperation in Rennes

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Youth, transport, marine energies, culture… The seven Celtic territories met yesterday (August 3) at the Hôtel de Courcy in Rennes in Ille-et-Vilaine. All have signed the “Rennes Declaration”, which commits the parties to strengthening their cooperation. Focus on the creation of a Celtic Erasmus with the Scots and the Welsh, in order to encourage student mobility.
Few concrete announcements but good intentions… It is a political meeting of a new kind, which was held yesterday (Thursday August 3), at the regional council of Brittany, in Rennes: the “first Celtic forum” organized on the initiative of the community. Regularly postponed since the covid-19 epidemic, the event finally took place, and it brought together representatives from Asturias, Galicia, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and of course Brittany. Objective, to strengthen the cultural and commercial links between the territories.

You have to “build ties… make joint offers to manufacturers, that’s something concrete!”
At the end of this meeting, Brittany signed, with all the Celtic nations, a common document, the “Declaration of Rennes”, as well as bilateral documents with Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Galicia. At the center of future cooperation: student mobility, fishing, marine energy, maritime transport and culture.

Loig Chesnais-Girard, the president of the Brittany region: “We have relations with many of these territories already on a bilateral basis: I went to Wales not long ago, I was in the United Kingdom there When I was two years old, I went to Scotland for COP 26 and each time, we were able to forge links, particularly in our ports. The port of Brest is an important port, the port of Lorient also for renewable marine energies and we see that we are often ultimately too small to respond to industrial challenges. On the subject of renewable marine energies, forge partnerships with the ports of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to make joint offers to industrialists, this is something real!”

No timetable has yet been unveiled, but the teams in these territories will now work together to carry out these projects.

A Celtic Erasmus in the making

“Very concretely, we can hope that young people from Brittany will go even more easily tomorrow for a school trip, for studies or for a partnership in one of the Celtic territories, who today sign with me this “Declaration of Rennes”. We can ensure that teachers know each other, and by knowing each other, they want to create exchanges between classes.If the politicians present, work as we are going to do, to create this facility for our establishments, our universities… if we sign agreements or partnerships, then we will be able to go far, and behind it are young people who will travel, create a comm imagination, and who will prepare their future.”

This kind of Celtic Erasmus would aim to cushion the effects of Brexit. In addition to student mobility, other fields of reflection have been identified:
– maritime transport and the creation of new routes, in particular with Ireland, whose closest entry to the European continent now passes through Brest or Roscoff;
– fishing, offshore wind power;
– the regional culture and languages with all the Celtic nations, from Spain to Scotland.

This article is originally published on hitwest.ouest-france.fr

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