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Towards an EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

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Commission launches discussion on governance of Macro-Regional Strategies

The European Commission has today published a report on the governance of the EU's Macro-Regional Strategies. The cooperation method of these Strategies has gained impetus and support across Europe since the first for the Baltic Sea Region was adopted in 2009. Common challenges are tackled by a number of countries - both EU and non EU members- working together, streamlining their resources to ensure an effective and joined -up response.

But today's report shows that while the results of individual projects and initiatives in the Baltic Sea and Danube regions are positive – even more  political leadership and clearer decision-making is needed to build on the progress so far.

The report recommends changes to improve the impact, results and the sustainability of existing, and particularly future strategies – such as that of the Adriatic-Ionian and Alpine Regions which European Countries have asked for and should be adopted formally later this. This concerns primarily national and regional administrations, but also a wider range of stakeholders, and the European Commission itself.

Next month Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn will attend the Forum on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (3-4 June in Turku) and Forum on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (26-27. June in Vienna). Also a Communication and Action Plan for the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) will be adopted by the Commission in June 2014.

More information

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The European Council of 19-20 December 2013 invited the Commission, in co-operation with the Member States, to elaborate an EU Strategy for the Alpine Region. The deadline for presenting a proposal is mid-2015. From 16 July to 15 October 2014 the public consultation is open. We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region will involve 7 countries:  Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland. It will build on the experiences of the already existing macro-regional strategies: the European Strategy for the Danube Region and the European  Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

What’s the issue?

The Alpine region is one of the largest economic and productive regions in Europe where 70 million people live and work, as well as it is an attractive tourist destination for millions of guests every year. However, it faces several major challenges:

  • Economic globalisation requiring the territory to distinguish itself as competitive and innovative
  • Demographic trends characterised by ageing and new migration models
  • Climate change and its foreseeable effects on the environment, biodiversity and living conditions of the inhabitants
  • Energy challenge at the European and worldwide scales
  • Its specific geographical position in Europe as a transit region but also as an area with unique geographical and natural features

Better cooperation between the regions and States is needed to tackle those challenges.

Who will benefit and how?

The main added value of the Strategy for the Alpine Region will consist in a new relationship between metropolitan, peri-mountain, and mountain areas.

According to the political resolution adopted by the representatives of the 7 Alpine States and 15 Alpine Regions in Grenoble in October 2013, the new strategy will focus on the following 3 thematic priorities

  • Competitiveness and Innovation
  • Environmentally friendly mobility
  • Sustainable management of energy, natural and cultural resources

The debate comes at a crucial stage of the negotiations for the future programmes 2014-2020. Member States and regions should ensure that the Alpine Strategy is properly embedded in the future generation of programmes under EU regional policy 2014-2020, as well as other relevant EU, regional and national policy frameworks.

Foreseen Timetable

Consultation Process

July 2014: On-line public general consultation

September 2014 : Per pillar consultation

November 2014: Conference to present the results of consultations and assess the state of the art of the Strategy

Action Plan

January 2015

Impact assessment

January 2015


March 2015

Adoption by the Commission

June 2015

Adoption by the Council

Autumn 2015 (provisional)               

Kick-off conference adopting the Strategy

Autumn 2015



As for the implementation, the Strategy will be based on the key principles applied for the existing macro-regional strategies: no new EU funds, no additional EU formal structures and no EU legislation, while relying on a coordinated approach, synergy effects and a more effective use of existing EU funds and other financial instruments. The aim is to produce a clear added value based on jointly identified objectives.


To get in contact with the team in DG REGIO please send an e-mail to REGIO D1 TRANSNATIONAL AND INTERREGIONAL COOPERATION

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