AlpGov 2

Implementing Alpine Governance Mechanisms of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

The project contribution to EUSALP

The EC communication concerning the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region from 28.7.2015 and the respective Council conclusions of 27.11.2015 define fundamental principles for EUSALP governance.

The project was initiated by EUSALP Executive Board which decided to strive for a joint ASP project of EUSALP Action Group Leaders to support the development of joint EUSALP governance mechanisms as described by the EC Communication together with the Action Plan. The project is designed to make Action Groups working technically, but also to develop joint tools e. g. for knowledge management, project development and policy support.

In the 3 years since the 9 Action Groups (AGs) had begun to implement the EUSALP, the cooperation framework has improved substantially. Now, the Strategy’s governance needs to be advanced further in order to move towards a strategic vision. So far, the work within the AGs involved skills development and the sharing of competences. The challenge of AlpGov 2, however, is to foster cross-sectoral implementation following strategic priorities, which are to be defined together with the Executive Board (EB) and the annual Presidencies. This reorientation towards a more strategic approach will correspond to the fine-tuning and launch of the new Regional Development and Cohesion Policy 2021-2027, which offers an opportunity to further strengthen the EUSALP as a tool for realizing the cohesion objectives. The AGs will be the operative units of the EUSALP involving stakeholders and enhancing ownership of the Strategy at all levels of government and within civil society.

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Why a Macroregional Strategy for the Alpine area?

The Alpine area is composed of territories with contrasted demographic, social and economic trends and a great cultural and linguistic diversity. This diversity goes along with a great variety of governance systems and traditions. Both the common specificities of the Alpine area and its variety and diversity call for cooperation.

The Alpine region represents a living and working space for the resident population and an attractive tourist destination for millions of guests every year. The Alps are the water tower of Europe and are known all over the world for their natural beauty, varied landscapes, rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.

The Alpine region is a unique territory, which has an important potential for dynamism, but facing major challenges, such as:

  • economic globalisation that requires the territory to distinguish itself as competitive and innovative by developing the knowledge and information society
  • demographic trends, characterised particularly by the combined effects of ageing and new migration models
  • climate change and its foreseeable effects on the environment, biodiversity and on the living conditions of its inhabitants
  • the energy challenge at the European and worldwide scales, which consists in managing and meeting demand sustainably, securely and affordably
  • its specific geographical position in Europe, as a transit region but also as an area with unique geographical and natural features with set the frame for all future developments

    An Alpine macro-regional strategy would provide an opportunity to improve cross-border cooperation in the Alpine States as well as identifying common goals and implementing them more effectively through transnational collaboration. Better cooperation between the regions and States is needed to tackle those challenges.

The European Council Presidency Conclusions of 19-20 December 2013 include at paragraph 50: "(…/…) the European Council invites the Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to elaborate an EU Strategy for the Alpine Region by June 2015".

This Strategy concerns 7 Countries, of which 5 EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and 2 non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland), and 48 Regions.