AG4 - 9th Action Group Meeting

Meeting topic: 

The 9th AG4 Action Group Meeting took place on 6 and 7 November 2018 in the joint representation of European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino in Brussels. The meeting was opened by the Director of the Tyrol office in Brussels, Dr Richard Seeber, with a warm welcome in the name of the three directors leading the joint representation of the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino in Brussels.

The Action Group Leader informed the members about past and upcoming events which are of strategic importance to the AG4. Particular attention was drawn to the upcoming EUSALP Annual Forum on 20 and 21 November 2018 in Innsbruck, where the AG4 will present its work on a shared info stand together with the CIPRA Youth Council. Moreover two workshops with the contribution of the AG4 Lead Team will be organized:

(1) “A Journey through the Alpine Region”, a virtual game addressed at young people/students to experience challenges of obtaining cross-border travel information and buying cross-border tickets in the Alpine Region in a game format (AG4 Activity D2).

(2) Crossborder mobility in the Alpine Region, a workshop organized together with AG5 to discuss the main challenges of sustainable cross-border mobility with focus on commuters. First results from the joint ARPAF project CrossBorder will be presented.

In its first year of implementation the ARPAF project CrossBorder made substantial progress. A collection of existing cross-border commuter cooperation models has been published in an interactive story map. The study on mobility networks with the identification of the main hotspots of cross-border commuting is currently under development and will be finalised by December 2018.

The first results of the study towards an integrated incentive system for modal shift were presented by the author Enrico Pastori (TRT trasporti e territorio srl). The study is part of the AG4 work plan activity B2 and has the objective to carry out a comprehensive analysis of existing pricing components that influence the competitiveness between road and rail freight transport in the EUSALP area by (1) comparing taxes, charges and subsidies in the EUSALP countries, (2) making a comparative analysis of policy-induced cost components for relevant Alpine transport relations and (3) identifying preliminary recommendations to improve  modal shift policies. The outcomes of the study will be presented at the EUSALP Annual Forum 2018 and published afterwards on the EUSALP AG4 website. As a next step the identified recommendations to improve modal shift policies are further discussed and coordinated within the AG4.

The development of a systematic project assessment methodology (AG4 activity C1, C2, D1) is advancing within a dedicated task force, which has the mandate to develop a first draft of the methodology including assessment criteria. The activity pursues the aim to identify and label major projects which can be supported on a boarder EUSALP level. Switzerland’s Federal Office for Spatial Development presented the approach to assess transport projects within the Swiss Agglomeration Programme. The federal state provides financial support under certain conditions to urban and peri-urban transport infrastructure projects that contribute to a more efficient and sustainable general transport system and to sustainable spatial development.

The discussion paper on Secondary Networks developed and discussed during the 3rd AG4 Mobility Conference June 2018 in Trento has been reviewed and updated. The paper will be published after a final feedback round by the end of November on the AG4 homepage. The paper puts the focus on two thematic areas: (1) the impacts of the secondary network on accessibility and possible measures to maintain and improve it, with view to economy and society and (2) the impacts of the secondary network on environment and climate, including possible measures for improvement, in particular by modal shift and traffic management. The discussion paper serves as basis to identify common transport and mobility challenges in EUSALP and supports the identification of joint actions to be considered for the next AG4 work plan.

The AG4 Leader launched the process of developing the next AG4 work plan 2019-2022. Based on the experiences gained during the last three years of collaboration within the Action Group, the strategic direction of the AG4 will be reassessed and adapted. The AG4 members are invited to jointly identify new focus topics for the following years, based on the EUSALP Action Plan and the AG4 activities implemented thus far. A detailed discussion on the contents of the new AG4 work plan will take place at the next AG4 Meeting in February/March 2019. The Action Group Leader is inviting all EUSALP regions and states so far not being part of the EUSALP AG4 to join the Action Group as member and to contribute to this crucial process.

In order to develop cooperation and greater integration between the existing bodies and structures in the Alpine Region as well as to avoid duplication of work, the AG4 invited the iMONITAF! network, the Follow-up Zurich Process and the Alpine Convention Working Group Transport to provide an update on their ongoing activities.

  • In the last two years of its mandate the iMONITRAF! network participated actively in the process of the revision of the Eurovignette Directive by developing feedback on the Commission’s proposals and organising a networking event together with the Rapporteur in the European Parliament and key members of the TRAN Committee. In addition, iMONITRAF! recently published a report on innovative technologies, identifying future trends for transalpine transport and their impact on the iMONITRAF! strategy.
  • The traffic observatory of the Follow-up Zurich Process, the formal platform of cooperation of the Transport Ministers of the Alpine states, publishes on an annual basis the observation and analysis of transalpine freight traffic flows, indicating inter alia the development of Alpine-crossing transport volumes.
  • The Alpine Convention Working Group Transport received a renewed mandate for the years 2019-2020. Close coordination between the activities of AG4 and the Alpine Convention is ensured thanks to reciprocal observer roles.

The Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Alpine Space Programme provided crucial information on the fourth call for project proposals. The deadline for submission of a project’s Expression of Interest is 12 December 2018.

With this first meeting in Brussels the AG4 aimed at raising awareness for their work also outside the Alpine Region and used this opportunity to deepen the exchange with the EU institutions as basis for future collaboration for successfully implementating of the macro-regional strategy. The evening exchange event on AG4 funding opportunities in the upcoming EU Multi-Financial Framework post-2020 brought together AG4 members, the European Commission DG REGIO and DG MOVE as well as the Committee of the Regions COTER. The event provided the possibility to discuss the role of EUSALP AG4 as an important actor for the implementation of EU regional and transport policies at macro-regional level and discussed funding opportunities for implementing activities in the field of transport and mobility at cross-border and regional levels in the Alpine Region.

For further information on contents and presentations please do not hesitate to contact the EUSALP AG4 Lead Team:

Rue de Pascale 45-47 1040 Brussels