Strengthening bonds across the Alps

Territorial cooperation between two neighbouring Italian and Austrian Alpine regions was formalised with the establishment of the ‘Wipptal Interreg Council’ in 2008. Now the Council is pushing on to intensify the relationship between the Tyrol and Bolzano by developing key issues for further joint action, as well as through the implementation of cross-border projects.

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Celebrating the inauguration of Wipptal Council’s mountain trail project © Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol Celebrating the inauguration of Wipptal Council’s mountain trail project © Autonomous Province of Bolzano-South Tyrol

" The overarching objective of the project is the balanced and sustainable development of the entire region while improving cross-border collaboration. Increasing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the two participating regions is also a key target. "

Helmut Gassebner, Wipptal Interreg Council.

A small project fund has been set up to finance activities in areas such as tourism and environmental management. Funding through the scheme is being made available to a range of economic and social partners, including public bodies and private organisations. The initiative is expected to create 15 permanent jobs.

The goal of the Council and the project fund is to increase the attractiveness and economic competitiveness of the entire region. Efforts are being made to raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities of cross-border collaboration under the banner ‘One Wipptal without borders!’. 

Laying the groundwork

To move things forward, several consultations have already been held with applicants in relation to bringing new project ideas to fruition. In addition, standardised project application forms have been created which are easy to complete online. In addition, the project fund has been established with solid frames of reference, which will allow for the implementation of between 10 and 15 initiatives. A funding ceiling has been agreed of up to EUR 25 000 per partner.

Some projects have already begun. For example, work has been carried out to improve various hiking paths and to install a climbing rope in the Tribulaun mountains, which consist of three peaks situated in the main Alpine ridge between northern and southern Wipptal. This small project provides climbers and hikers with safer, better quality routes through the range while improving access to cross-border mountain trails.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Wipptal Interreg Council - management and small projects fund 2011-2014” is EUR 538 420, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 311 742 from the Operational Programme “INTERREG IV A Italy-Austria” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date