The Atlantic Future is a three-year research project funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, undertaken by a consortium of 13 renowned partners across the four Atlantic regions, during a period of 36 months, from January 2013 to December 2015. The project aims to analyse fundamental trends in the Atlantic basin and to show how changing economic, energy, security, human, institutional and environmental links are transforming the wider Atlantic space.

In a context of a spectacular growth in Asia and the Pacific Rim and the West’s hard times, the Atlantic space is experiencing a major reconfiguration. The North America – Europe link continues to be the strongest and largest of the relationships between any two continents. But their decline in relative terms is slowly being matched by the rise of Africa, Latin America and a newly energised Arab region, all of which are increasing their interregional links and gaining weight in global affairs. Both positive factors, such as the opportunities for better management of shared resources, and negative ones, like the illegal flow of narcotics that harms the whole region, emerge as potential drivers for cooperation, competition or conflict.

The aim of the ATLANTIC FUTURE is to study the rationales of cooperation in the Atlantic area and to suggest strategies to the EU on how to engage with the wider transatlantic relationship in the context of the ongoing redistribution of power and the overall rebalancing of relations around and within the Atlantic space.

What is the Atlantic? This question does not have a straightforward answer and understanding the Atlantic is a key objective of the Project. ATLANTIC FUTURE conceptualise the Atlantic as a space in International Relations through contrasting it to existing concepts such as region and macro-region, comparing it to other ocean basins and contextualising it in history.


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