EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

What is a Macroregional strategy?

A 'Macroregional strategy' is an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area which thereby benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Why a Macroregional Strategy for the Alpine area?

The Alpine area is composed of territories with contrasted demographic, social and economic trends and a great cultural and linguistic diversity. This diversity goes along with a great variety of governance systems and traditions. Both the common specificities of the Alpine area and its variety and diversity call for cooperation.

The Alpine region represents a living and working space for the resident population and an attractive tourist destination for millions of guests every year. The Alps are the water tower of Europe and are known all over the world for their natural beauty, varied landscapes, rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.

The Alpine region is a unique territory, which has an important potential for dynamism, but is facing major challenges, such as:

  • economic globalisation that requires the territory to distinguish itself as competitive and innovative by developing the knowledge and information society
  • demographic trends, characterised particularly by the combined effects of ageing and new migration models
  • climate change and its foreseeable effects on the environment, biodiversity and on the living conditions of its inhabitants
  • the energy challenge at the European and worldwide scales, which consists of managing and meeting demand sustainably, securely and affordably
  • its specific geographical position in Europe, as a transit region but also as an area with unique geographical and natural features wich set the frame for all future developments

An Alpine macro-regional strategy would provide an opportunity to improve cross-border cooperation in the Alpine States as well as identifying common goals and implementing them more effectively through transnational collaboration. Better cooperation between the regions and States is needed to tackle those challenges.

The European Council Presidency Conclusions of 19-20 December 2013 include at paragraph 50: "(…/…) the European Council invites the Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to elaborate an EU Strategy for the Alpine Region by June 2015".

This Strategy concerns 7 Countries, of which 5 EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and 2 non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland), and 48 Regions.

What are EUSALP governance and its management structures?

The General Assembly gathers the high-level political representatives of States and Regions involved in the Strategy, the European Commission, and the Alpine Convention as observer.

The Executive Board is formed by representatives of States and Regions and representatives from the European Commission, and as Observers, the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Space Transnational Programme. It oversees the implementation of the EUSALP and it is meant to provide strategic guidance with respect to management and implementation of the EUSALP and its Action Plan.

The core of the implementation level is the Action Groups and Action Group leaders. The Action Group leaders are the drivers of day-to-day implementation. Their role, capacities, resources and engagement is a key element to the success of the Strategy.