EUSALP 2nd Annual Forum of Innsbruck

23rd Nov 2018

After two fruitful days at the Congress of Innsbruck, the 2nd EUSALP Annual Forum successfully ended under the motto "shaping the future together with the next generation". The young people were the real protagonists of the event  and  joined it in large numbers and with great enthusiasm.

The following press release has been produced by the Presidency of Tyrol on November 20:


Governor Platter: "EUSALP joins forces against transit and youth unemployment”

Annual forum under the motto "shaping the future together with the next generation

The Tyrolean Presidency of the EU Alpine Strategy (EUSALP) is drawing to a close with the two-day Annual Forum its climax, which took place in Innsbruck last week. Together with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Governor Günther Platter took stock and presented the results achieved under the Tyrolean Presidency: in addition to the dual training system - the Tyrolean model is regarded as a showcase project within the 48 regions and should also help other regions to reduce youth unemployment - it was Tyrol's efforts to achieve a balanced transport policy across the Alpine corridors that shaped the Presidency. The focus was also on strengthening supra-regional mobility - for example through integrated tickets and information systems in public transport. The General Assembly was also unanimous in its support to the protection of soil resources in the Alpine regions, which is reflected in a "Soil Protection Declaration" supported by six Alpine states and 20 regions. 

Transit study proves that Brenner is the cheapest transit corridor in the Alps

"Under the EUSALP motto 'Shaping the future together', it was important for us during the Presidency to act as spokesmen for the transit-stricken population in the Alpine regions. The Alpine region is confronted with disproportionately negative effects on the environment, infrastructure and, above all, people's health - so it is all the more important now to take joint measures," said Governor Platter, referring to the analysis of toll systems in the 48 Alpine regions initiated by Tyrol. 
The study will also be part of the Alpine regions’ statement changing infrastructure costs marking it as a major focal point regarding the future of EU transport policy. The results show that "the cheapest Alpine crossings within the seven EUSALP states can be found in Tyrol: the toll costs at the Brenner are on average 2.5 times cheaper than at the Gotthard or five times cheaper than at Mont Blanc. This is unacceptable - we ask for equal rights and thus an increase in the toll for trucks over Tyrolean passes. With this study, we have shown clearly the imbalance so everyone can understand. It serves as an argumentation aid and is a basis for a holistic approach to detour transit", said Governor Platter. "The EU Road Charges Directive is an important lever for finally raising the price level within the entire Alpine region to the level necessary to preserve our valuable habitat - the health of the next generation," says Governor Patter in favour of shifting to rail and making it more attractive.

Dual education: From Tyrol to the Alpine regions of Europe

The Annual Forum is also dedicated to the next generations: "It was very important for us to take up topics that are in the interest of young people - training and work are two of them. For many years, Tyrol had a relatively low youth unemployment compared to other countries. While the EUSALP average in 2017 was 13.7 percent, Tyrol recorded a youth unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. The Tyrolean model of dual training is one of the main reasons for this. Our Alpine region partners should also benefit from our experience and knowledge," said Governor Platter, referring to the goals of a specially drawn up 10-points plan for dual training and skilled workers, which was developed under the leadership of Tyrol and is aimed at companies, trainees and teachers. 
This is regarded as a common starting point for strengthening dual training in the EUSALP regions. "It is desirable that apprenticeship and skilled worker training within the Alpine regions can be accordingly recognised and also be credited in another Alpine region. With the exchange of qualified specialists, we also promote a common growth able to significantly strengthen the Alpine region," says Governor Platter. Within the framework of the strategic plan, the implementation of awareness-raising campaigns and the development of advisory services throughout the Alpine region are also envisaged. 

Strong youth in the Alpine region 

The Annual Forum focused on young people as a whole: "The integration of young people must be accelerated in the long term. More than 350 young people are taking part in the Annual Forum - their ideas and opinions bring a breath of fresh air and new perspectives that are important for our work," said Governor Platter. During the event the best "Alpine Project" was chosen: 50 young people between 16 and 25 years submitted their ideas for the design of the Alpine Space. The winning project will be supported in its implementation.

Soil Protection Declaration Population and Environment

" Soil is a valuable resource that must be used and protected in a sustainable way whether for food supply or for forest as a shield against natural hazards. The areas that can be exploited in the Alpine region are limited," Governor Platter emphasised, "the broad support to a Soil Protection Declaration is a clear signal. We have started this process in order to secure the future. In Tyrol, the most recent storms three weeks ago caused forest damage on 1,000 hectares, and now the  protective function in this area is  lacking. This shows how important soil is at all levels," said Governor Platter, also seeing this as a central necessity for securing the Alpine region for the next generation. With the Soil Protection Declaration, this crucial concern of EUSALP has been recorded and written down for the future. 

Mobility: from Innsbruck to Grenoble with standardised information for passengers 

In order to achieve the objective of an unique passenger information system within the Alpine region, the first steps were taken in the form of a coordinated and uniform timetable information between North and South Tyrol. The next step is a joint ticketing service: "The common passenger information system with cross-border ticketing is an European lighthouse project. Our vision is to roll out such a system to the entire Alpine region - we are in close contact with the Alpine regions as partners," said Governor Platter. In a further step, commuter mobility will also be strengthened. In Tyrol alone, more than 5,000 people commuted between national borders every day in 2016. Therefore, the infrastructure needs to be improved with regard to timetable and travel times. 

About the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency 2018 

More than 2,000 participants took part in the events organised under the auspices of Tyrol within the EUSALP Presidency. In addition to specialist events for the public (various events such as "Preparing the ground for the future", Mobility Conference, AlpFoodway Conference, International Snow Science Workshop, Energy Conference), there were three international working meetings at which EUSALP experts exchanged views. Numerous internal meetings and workshops rounded off the event programme.   

"Pitch your Project to the EU" - projects submitted to the 2nd Annual Forum

"Magical Alps": a school class from Austria wants to investigate legends and myths of the Alpine region. Their collection will ultimately be presented on a website, which will contribute to the exchange between schools and residents. Interested parties will have the opportunity to visit "mystical" places of the EUSALP. 
"Beehave": two young Italians combine the protection of bees with economic efficiency. They want to attach sensors to beehives in order to monitor the environmental quality and health of the bees without interruption. Through an app, beekeepers will receive information that will enable them to react quickly and improve honey production, and scientists will be able to use the data for research. 
"Match Strategies": by working with small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups, "Match Strategies" should give students the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge within EUSALP through projects. "Match Strategies" serves as a hub between companies and students. 
"Alpine Ticket Networking Meeting": the members of the Cipra Youth Council are dedicated to mobility. The aim is to develop a solution for public transport in the Alpine region - cross-border travel with a ticket at affordable prices. 


Participants in the EUSALP General Assembly with members of the Youth Parliament of the Alpine Convention

© Land Tirol/Die Fotografen




EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn (right) and Governor Günther Platter reported on the results after the General Assembly

© Land Tirol/Die Fotografen




Governor Günther Platter and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn are satisfied with the positive results of the Tyrolean Presidency EUSALP 2018

© Land Tirol/Die Fotografen




Governor Platter and EU Commissioner Hahn visited the various stands of the Networking Village

© Land Tirol/Die Fotografen




Governor Platter and the members of the Youth Parliament of the Alpine Convention discuss the involvement of young people in the definition of the EUSALP

© Land Tirol/Die Fotografen