The Arc Manche Arc Manche website

The Arc Manche is a geographical area made up of the British and French territories bordering or within the English Channel.

Being one of the busiest maritime thoroughfares in the world, the English Channel has strong characteristics :

  • a gateway to Europe;
  • a maritime canal between the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea;
  • an area of interacting and overlapping economic, environmental and logistical activities producing a concentration of maritime opportunities and risks;
  • a vital thoroughfare for high volumes of people and goods;
  • an area that promotes European integration and exchange between the UK, France and the rest of continental Europe.

Since 2003 the Channel Arc Manche has also become a political project based on an informal and voluntary network of local authorities which can use the network to share best practices, coordinate initiatives and pull together project ideas to draw in EU funding.

The Channel Arc Manche is pursuing 2 major objectives :

  • Demonstrate the interest and the specificity of the Channel area as a coherent area of territorial co-operation in Europe;
  • Strengthen the partnership between Channel Arc regions through concrete actions and outcomes.

In 2005, in order to get more visibility, the local authorities from the both side of the Channel decided to create the Channel Arc Manche Assembly and to adopt rules of procedure. The Executive Committee of the Channel Arc Manche Assembly, which is composed of all its full members, meets at least twice a year.

So as to translate its objectives into concrete actions, from 2004, the Channel Arc Manche has accompanied the development of a Franco-British cooperation project, the EMDI project , and has been accompanying the CAMIS project from 2008.

NB : The political co-operation under the banner of Arc Manche interrupted by the conclusion of the CAMIS and PEGASEAS projects.

The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum took place on 23 June 2016. This resulted in a decision for the UK to leave the EU.

Since 2017, meetings have taken place between French and British regional and local politicians, as well as other categories of stakeholders, to form a new initiative called Channel Alliance . It aims to:

  • Identify common areas of interest for cooperation
  • Identify how the common areas of interest can be taken forward between the UK and France.