An EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

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    Did you know that cooperation in the Danube region is supporting sturgeons’ conservation efforts, in addition to helping young entrepreneurs to finance their projects? Could you imagine that Slovenia manages to take advantage of fishery opportunities thanks to cooperation within the Adriatic and Ionian region? Were you aware that EU Strategy for the Alps supports the Bohinj tourism initiative, which certifies geographical origin, uniqueness, originality and local specialty of products?

    You will find on National RTV Slovenia more than 20 videos illustrating the benefits of cooperation across various sectors within the three Macro-regional strategies. Slovenia is a member of three macro-regional strategies out of four: the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR), and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP).

    * copyright : RTV 4 Channel https://4d.rtvslo.si/

     

    How to better integrate the youth in decision-making? The countries and regions of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region will look for solutions to give youth a stronger say on policies they are concerned by.  Around 900 stakeholders from all levels (EU, national, regional, local) are meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday in Innsbruck at the second EUSALP Annual Forum, jointly organized by Tyrol and DG REGIO, to discuss just that: shaping  future together with the next generation.

    The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) has proven essential in setting forth initiatives in fields on common interest for the region, but a lot more can be achieved, especially with the help of the young generation. Their creativity can provide novel answers to the challenges facing the region”, declared Commissioner Corina Creţu. This interest was proven through a high participation in the innovative idea contest for young people aged between 16 and 25: in the context of the “Pitch your project to the EU” initiative, 17 project applications were submitted. The audience will vote for the winners on Wednesday. 

    Very important questions for the Alpine region, such as the protection of the environment and the future of EU funding, are also on the agenda for discussion. Commissioner Johannes Hahn will be presenting the Commission’s view on the future of the region. Other key speakers include Tyrol’s Governor Günther Platter, Arno Kompatscher, Governor of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol and Raffaele Cattaneo, President of the Lombardy Regional Council. To learn more about the EUSALP, have a look here.

    Around 50 young people aged between 16 and 25 responded to the call and in total, 17 project applications were submitted. A jury consisting of members of the European Commission, the EUSALP Executive Board, the EUSALP Tyrolean Presidency and the Alpine Convention, selected the finalists for the pitch session, which will take place on 21 November at the EUSALP Annual Forum in Innsbruck.

    11 young people are invited to Innsbruck by the European Commission to take part in the Forum and to put the motto "shaping.future.together. with the next generation." into action. They will present their five projects as a pitch to the Forum´s visitors. The Forum’s participants will then be able to vote for their favourites. Prizes worth 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 EUR await the three winning projects.

    Here is a sneak-peak of the selected projects, which pertain to the different areas of the macro-regional cooperation.

    "Magical Alps“

    The youngest pitchers are 16 years old. With their project "Magical Alps" an entire school class from Austria invites us to explore legends and myths of the Alpine Region in the European Year of Cultural Heritage. As collective memories, stories help to shape the cultural identity of the Alpine countries. The pupils look into the similarities between different national narratives, which mostly interweave fiction and reality. They examine ethical, moral, social, scenic and natural aspects of the legends and myths. Their collection of narratives is to be accessible in various media forms, which will ultimately be presented on a website. This will serve as an exchange with other schools and residents and open up opportunities for interested people to visit mystical places themselves.

    "Beehave“

    The "Beehave" project led by two young Italians aims to combine economic effectiveness and bees protection, as they are now particularly endangered in the Alpine Region. Sensors on the beehive will continuously measure temperature and humidity, in order to monitor the environmental quality and health of the bees. An application plays the data out to the beekeeper, who can then react more quickly and take further measures to improve the honey production. This also helps scientists to identify environmental changes and, by monitoring the sensitive bee population, to react to them at an earlier stage.

    "Sustain´ Ability"

    The French project "Sustain´ Ability" aims to link up in the longer term young people, especially students and skilled migrants, with companies working in the field of green infrastructure. For this purpose, a digital newspaper is used, which not only publishes the success stories of individual entrepreneurs from sustainable organisations, but also encourages exchange of experiences and advices as well as volunteering and traineeship offers. In addition, a workshop in June 2019 with the regions of Piedmont, Veneto, Provence-Alpes Côte d'Azur and Franche-Comté will take place to develop networking between the universities, organisations and green companies.

    "Match Strategies"

    "Match Strategies" aims to mediate between skilled university students and the business environment. Through Match Strategies' cooperation with SMEs and start-ups, students will have the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge in concrete projects. Furthermore, this gives companies the opportunity to outsource projects and work processes at a fair price and to generate synergy effects with committed people offering different qualifications. Students' early contact with potential employers also opens up career opportunities at a later stage. The project will help to stimulate the economic power of the Alpine Region and prevent the emigration of young professionals.

    "Alpine Ticket Network Meeting“

    The members of the Cipra Youth Council are dedicated to the main topic of the Tyrolean Presidency: mobility. Their aim is to develop a joint solution for public transport in the Alpine Region that will enable cross-border travel with just one ticket at an affordable price. In order to change the travel habits of the young population in particular, the project group believes that an inexpensive and practical alternative to cars and planes is urgently needed. In order to achieve this ambitious objective, a network meeting should bring together the main stakeholders. By enabling the individual interest groups and decision-makers to enter into dialogue and express their views, the basis is to be created for raising awareness of this huge project concerning seven countries.

    We are excitedly awaiting the pitch session and its outcome! Which project caught your eye?

More news

The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region involves 7 countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland.

It builds 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 and the European Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.

The Commission adopted a Communication and an Action Plan on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region on 28 July 2015 . This followed the invitation from the European Council in December 2013. It also took account – inter alia – of the on-line public consultation that was held in 2014, and the debates and discussions in the Stakeholder Conference on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (Milano, December 2014).

The Alpine region is one of the largest economic and productive regions in Europe where about 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.

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 Commission has encouraged Member States and regions to ensure that the Alpine Strategy is properly embedded in EU regional policy 2014-2020 programmes, as well as other relevant EU, regional and national policy frameworks.

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