This Thursday, August 3rd 2023, the first Celtic forum brought together elected representatives of seven territories sharing a Celtic heritage at the Hôtel de Region in Rennes: Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Galicia, Asturias and Ireland. After debating topics of cooperation for two hours, everyone signed the below document entitled the Rennes Declaration.
This Thursday, August 3rd 2023, the first Celtic forum brought together elected representatives of seven territories sharing a Celtic heritage at the Hôtel de region in Rennes: Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Galicia, Asturias and Ireland. After debating topics of cooperation for two hours, everyone signed the below document entitled the Rennes Declaration. The document was…
The Region of Brittany, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Government, the Cornwall Council, the Xunta of Galicia and the Principado of Asturia, supported by the Irish Government, hereby express their joint desire to deepen their cooperation.
Connected for several millennia by the common Atlantic maritime area, which has led them to exchange and share their cultures, languages, history and aspirations, the Celtic partners occupy an important place in Europe.
United around common objectives, they are well-positioned to respond to the current geopolitical, climatic and energy challenges. Both as an oceanic gateway and a bridgehead for an open Europe, the Celtic partners possess strong identities that are valued throughout the world, and demonstrate innovative models of governance, and have developed specific and future-focused skills.
Following the first Celtic Forum, the signatories of the “Rennes Declaration” intend to maintain and deepen institutional relations between the Celtic partners and to strengthen their cooperation, which could include the following areas: maritime activities; education and training, encouraging mobility; enhancement, promotion and mutual knowledge of the heritage; renewable energy; cultural relations, including in the fields of media, cinema, performing arts and artistic practices; languages; relationships between their respective Diasporas; and economic relations in the field of innovation and research.
The signatories of this declaration are convinced that by joining their efforts to make better use of their heritage, their common resources and a shared vision of the future, they can make inter-Celtic cooperation a driving force for the sustainable development, prosperity and well-being of their citizens.
This document was signed by Jesus Gamallo Aller (foreign relations of Galicia), Maria Bellamina Diaz (Asturia), Mark Drakeford (Prime minister of Wales), Linda Taylor (Cornwall Council President), Loïg Chesnais-Girard, President of Brittany regional council, Niall Burgess (Ambassador for Ireland, in France) and Shona Robinson, (Deputy First Minister for Scotland ). In the first instance, this agreement formalises a common heritage. It states: "connected for several millennia by a common Atlantic maritime space which has led them to exchange and share their cultures, their languages, their history and their imagination, the Celtic partners occupy an important place in European space”. It then goes on to talk about the commitment of all to strengthen their cooperation in several important areas for the future of this Atlantic arc stretching from Vigo to Aberdeen. These are : marine energies, maritime transport, fishing, culture, and education—including the proposal to replace Erasmus with a "Celtic" Erasmus for these territories, as Scotland and Wales have not been able to take part since Brexit. Ideas were abundant such as the Celtic Games which would be for sport what the Interceltic Festival of Lorient is for music.