EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

In 2010, the regions of the Alpine arc launched the process to establish a macro-regional EU Strategy for the Alpine Region. On the regional level, it was the Land Tirol that took on an essential and active role to promote this idea. On the national level, Austria and France championed this initiative and in November 2012 brought it to the attention of the seven states of the Alpine Region (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia and the non-EU-member states Switzerland and Liechtenstein).

Subsequently, a political conference on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region took place in Grenoble on 18 October 2013. At this conference, representatives of alpine regions and states adopted a resolution for the establishment of an EU Strategy for the Alpine region along the lines of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea or the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. On this basis, the European Council of 19-20 December 2013 tasked the European Commission to elaborate together with the Member States and by June 2015 a macro-regional strategy of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.

The key elements of the Strategy will comprise:

  • sustainable and smart growth, the promotion of full employment and the strengthening of competitiveness in the Alpine Region,
  • preservation of biodiversity, natural areas and sustainable energy resources management, and
  • innovation, academic co-operation, promotion of ecological mobility and connectivity.

A second political conference in Innsbruck on 17 September 2014 contributed to further define the scope of EUSALP and to, for the first time, discuss appropriate governance structures. In autumn 2014, the European Commission initiated an online consultation process asking interested citizens and organizations to present their visions on EUSALP. A large stakeholder conference including civil society representatives was organized in Milan on 1-2 December and marked the close of the consultation process.  Presently, the action plan for EUSALP is to be formulated in the first half of 2015 and is planned to be adopted at the European Council in October 2015.