Peter Kaiser: The EUSALP’s added value is founded on its strategic focus and integrated approach. As a historically strong partner and a hub of multicultural influences, Carinthia is a strong EUSALP contributor: its experience in the EGTC Senza Confini makes it ideal to take a leading role. The EUSALP regions and cities are agents of change.
Valentina Aprea: Lombardy aims for quality education within a macro-regional, innovative and inclusive system.
Brigitta Pallauf: Our Salzburg region gladly puts its operational know-how, which we have gained during 17 years as Managing Authority of the Alpine Space Programme, to good and valuable use for the implementation of the EUSALP. Within the EUSALP, Salzburg focuses on bio-economy, health tourism, transport and energy.
Bojana Cipot: Macro-regional strategies are effective mechanisms for addressing the shared challenges of the moment; they therefore need to be visible and understood. Citizens will benefit from them if they are engaged in the process – it is important to have cooperation between different social categories and NGOs within a multilevel governance structure.
The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), which was officially launched in Brdo in January 2016, has nine action groups that have already delivered noteworthy results. This EURegionsWeek event – divided into two parts – involved high-ranking panellists who looked at the future role of the macro-regional strategy and what has been delivered so far from the point of view of regions, cities and citizens.
The first part discussed why regions and cities can be more efficient agents of change thanks to the EUSALP when shaping the future of the Alpine region strategy. The macroregional strategy will be facing important challenges in the near future: climate change, economic developments, the need to ensure jobs and education, mobility issues and the need to improve the use of renewable energies and to invest more in innovation. It was pointed out that the macroregional strategy is important in terms of all of these challenges. Only if the regions of the EUSALP work together can they face up to these specific problems, which are typical for all the regions, cities and citizens of the Alpine area. The point was made that cooperation and collaboration are necessary and decisive for the future of the EUSALP. The macro-regional strategy is the responsibility of all those who live in the Alpine area, because it is unique and it has to be maintained for future generations. If regions work together to solve the problems referred to above, they can specialise in their research and share the results not only with all the other regions in the strategy, but also with other mountain regions in the EU in the future.
regional strategy respects the boundaries of the “three no’s” principle: no new EU funds, no additional EU formal structures and no new EU legislation. This was a requirement imposed when the EUSALP was founded and the strategy created and, while the regions did not get any direct funding (despite the EP envisaging some), the result was a success. In future, however, the EUSALP wants to apply for funds under the cohesion policy or other funding from the EU (such as for pilot projects).
The second part of the event looked in greater detail at what has been delivered so far that may have changed people's lives in the various fields. The EUSALP focuses on, for example, the bio-economy, dual and vocational education (vet), mobility and renewable energies. High-level speakers discussed these issues and what has been delivered so far under the Slovenian and Bavarian presidencies and what is foreseen under the forthcoming Tyrolean presidency starting in 2018.
Take away message
The EUSALP takes joint action against everyday problems and new challenges that are particularly pervasive in the Alpine area, such as climate change, economic developments, jobs and education, mobility and energy and many more. It also creates comparable conditions for people who work and live in remote regions of the Alpine area. It is important to maintain the traditional strengths of those areas and at the same time to better the quality of life.