Communication concerning a European Union Strategy for the Alpine Region

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Period : 2014-2020
Date : 28/07/2015

The Alpine Region is one of the richest areas in the world and among the economically most dynamic, innovative and competitive areas in Europe with unique geographical and natural features. However, the Region also faces important challenges requiring a joint response:

  • economic globalisation that requires the territory to distinguish itself as competitive and innovative;
  • demographic trends, characterised particularly by the combined effects of ageing, low population density in the mountain areas and new migration models;
  • high vulnerability to climate change and its foreseeable effects on the environment, biodiversity and the living conditions of its inhabitants;
  • the energy challenge in managing and meeting demand sustainably, securely and affordably;
  • its specific geographical position in Europe, as a transit region;
  • a high degree of seasonality, especially in some touristic areas.

Significant differences also remain among the different areas in the Region (for example between mountainous areas and the Alpine foreland).

The European Council of 19/20 December 2013 invited the Commission, working with Member States, to draw up an EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) by June 2015, building on the solid background of cooperation in the Region. The Strategy will affect around 80 million people living 48 regions (map in Annex) in seven countries, of which five are EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and two are non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland). The proposed geographical area covered by the macro-regional strategy is particularly well suited for the sustainable development of the Alpine Region, promoting growth across Europe and mutual solidarity between mountain and peri-Alpine territories.

The Strategy will cover the following thematic policy areas: (1) economic growth and innovation; (2) mobility and connectivity; and (3) environment and energy.

The Strategy will benefit from the active role of the Alpine regions supported by the Member States and experience from a large number of cooperation structures already operating in the area and will build on work that took place before the Commission started working on drawing up the Strategy.

More information :

EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

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