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Newsletter December 2019

December 2019




Cooperate- Coordinate- Concentrate: the 3rd Annual forum of the EUSALP was a crucial moment for the next EU Programmes in the Alpine Region. 

The European Commission, together with the Italian Presidency of the EUSALP, organized the 3rd annual forum in Milan which was a crucial moment to design the next EU programmes in the Alpine area. Three key words to enhance the EUSALP challenges and priorities, with all of stakeholders, public authorities, private companies, NGOs and civil society: Cooperate to tackle challenges, Coordinate to multiply the funding opportunities and Concentrate for a greater impact. 

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Save the Date ! On19 and 20 February we are meeting in Brussels to embed cooperation into EU programmes for the 2021-2027 period!
From 17 to 21 February, the European Commission- DG REGIO, will host the EU Macro Regional Strategies Week, including a number of important events related to the four Macro Regional Strategies, in Brussels. More info are available here!



At the Annual Forum in Milan the five young finalists of PITCH YOUR PROJECT 2019 presented their ideas live on stage.
The audience chose the three winners:
Finn Wilkesmann and Mario Traunsprunger from Germany won the 1st place and 5,000 Euro for their idea to mediate close to nature overnight accommodation in the Alps with the app and website“MyCabin”.
Sofia Farina and Nicolas Rodigari from Italy propose to launch the complementary local currency “Edelweiss” in the Alpine Region to support the local economy. They received the 2nd place and 3,000 Euro.
Alice Alcaini, Riccardo Omacini and Stefano Trapletti won the 3rd prize and 2,000 Euro. Their project “Don’t Drain Out Your Alps” wants to reduce hydrogeological risks with the help of terraces with dry-stone walls that collect and re-use rainwater.

The prizes were handed over by Jean-Pierre Halkin from the European Commission and the President of the French region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Marie-Marguerite Dufay. PITCH YOUR PROJECT 2019 was organized by the European Commission, the Land Tirol and the Italian EUSALP Presidency as part of “youth.shaping.EUSALP”. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to not miss the opportunity to pitch your idea in France 2020!

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“EUSALP French Presidency presents the work program for 2020”

In 2020 the French State together with the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions will chair the Alpine marcoregional strategy in accordance with seven main principles: participation, embedding, cohesion, young people, pragmatism, concrete and promotion. The aim of the French Presidency for the next year is too boost the ecological transition of the EUSALP area in order to tackle climate change. In accordance with this program, during the 3rd EUSALP Annual Forum of Milan the new motto: “Together for a greener Alpine Region”  has been launched, together with the preliminary calendar of events that will start with the French Chairmainship event in Lyon on 4 and 5 February 2020.

Read the work programme here


Action Group 1

The Alps: a unique laboratory for sustainable development models

Mountains characterize the Alpine Region. For this reason, a specific attention to the sustainable development of mountain territories was the core of the workshop, organized within the framework of the third EUSALP Annual Forum with the collaboration of UNIMONT – The Mountain University (University of Milan).  The workshop focused on the current need to better integrate mountain territories within regional, national and EU policies. The speakers emphasized the need and willingness to shift the current framework in order to bridge the gap between cities and small alpine villages, reducing human impact and valorising natural resources.
The workshop underlined the need to establish new integrated policies for mountain territories, combining the economic, social and environmental dimensions of mountains in order to promote their sustainable development. The current opportunity is to better embed the needs and opportunities of mountain territories into National Strategic Agendas, in view of the next EU programming period. A priority-setting statement paper on the topic will be disseminated with the aim to facilitate the road towards policy integration and coherence and the inclusion of mountain areas’ specificities into national and European Agendas.


Action Group 2

Events and a new study on available funding opportunities for bioeconomy

The following events linked to AG2 took place in the second half of 2019:
12.09.2019 -“Alpine Forum on Smart Industry” in Rovereto (Subgroup Digital Industry)
16.-17.09.2019 -Outdoor innovation workshop “Towards a sustainable future for health tourism” at the Nationalpark Schwarzwald (Subgroup Health Tourism)Alpine Bioeconomy Workshop in Linz and exchange of results at the 4th Bioökonomietag (27.-28.11.2019) in Stuttgart (Subgroup Bioeconomy)
04.-05.11.2019- Workshop “International Bioeconomy dialogues across the Alpine Space” in Milan (Subgroup Bioeconomy).
The new “Study on Available Funding Opportunities for Bioeconomy in the Alpine Region” provides an overview of current and upcoming funding opportunities on bioeconomy with a special focus on SMEs. The new study “Forest wood flows in the alpine region” will provide some information on  the works done in the subgroup “Wood”. More information


Action Group 3

A compared study to look at the future with AlpGov 2

The final report “Dual Systems in the Regions of the Alpine Space”, edited by S. D’Agostino and S. Vaccaro, two INAPP’s researchers, was finalised in 2019. The two INAPP’s researchers carried out a compared study of the seven models existing in the countries of the Alpine Space, examining the themes of the current debate and the policy lines also with the support of the interviews of national experts identified by AG3 members. The report underlines the importance of dual training in these countries as a useful instrument for the gradual introduction of young people into working life. Moreover, it identifies the actions that can be shared by all stakeholders in order to reinforce the dual systems and promote the development of a more collaborative and inclusive environment. The book is now available in Italian and in English.
To facilitate a greater dissemination of the study we are ready to translate it into other languages as well. This report was submitted during the conference “Adding value to Dual Education in the Alpine Region”, held in Povo on the 16th of October 2019 and organized in partnership with DuALPlus and AG3, a great occasion to involve public administrations, enterprises and school.


Action Group 4

EUSALP AG4 Proceeds in Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Alpine Region

With the year coming to an end, the EUSALP AG4 can look back on several achievements:
At the Final Event of CrossBorder – an ARPAF showcase project – stakeholders strongly committed to pursue political capitalization on the project results on cross-border mobility.
Moreover, the AG4 took the year to successfully progress along its Work Plan. Thus, the Study to Investigate and Optimise Multi-Modal Logistic Chains was published recently and dialogue events with strategic implementation partners were held to further explore optimisation potentials in empty container management. Furthermore, the AG4 Financing Study explores potential funding schemes and relates them to the upcoming AG4 Work Plan.
Finally, the AG4 was able to contribute substantively to the Italian Presidency’s technical Workshop on Connectivity (Trieste) and to the political Conference on Transport (Genoa).
This tight cooperation already points to the successes to be expected in 2020: As AG4 Co-Leaders, Euregio Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino and Région Sud–Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, will collaborate closely with the French Presidency to continue promoting sustainable mobility in the Alpine Region.


Action Group 5

Mid-Term results from AG5

After three years of work, on the occasion of the 3rd EUSALP Annual Forum, the Action Group 5 presented their results during the 8th AG5 meeting in Milan.  The main results achieved in these years have been summarised in an Intermediate Report and presented by AG Leaders Thomas Egger and Carlo Vigna. As main results, the AG Leaders mentioned the Smart Villages initiative, which led to the creation of the ASP project “Smart digital transformation of villages in the Alpine Space”, the “Feasibility study on transnational connectivity in the Alps”, that has mapped a sample of the existing cross-border connectivity infrastructures across the entire Alpine Region to provide a possible blueprint for intervention and technical repeatability, as well as guidelines for interventions and investments and defining main recommendations, the initiative on Cross-border commuter mobility that presented the final results of the ARPAF project during a workshop on EUSALP Annual Forum in Milan and the Smart SME’s initiative, as a new project developed in collaboration with AG2 and AG3, aims to develop a partnership to understand to what extent SMEs that produce, process and apply natural fibres use digitalization tools and approaches. You can find more information here.


Action Group 6

EUSALP Annual Forum 2019: interesting discussions and new inputs

The EUSALP Annual Forum in Milan featured many events with the involvement of the Alpine Convention and the Action Group 6 (AG6). Secretary General Alenka Smerkolj stressed at the EUSALP General Assembly that more cooperation is necessary not only in an institutional logic but also in terms of the substantial and real challenges the Alpine Region is currently facing in terms of climate change and sustainability.  
During the AlpGov Final Conference, the AG6 Leaders highlighted the results achieved since 2016. These results were also subject of the plenary round table discussion on nature protection in the Alpine region, where three members of AG6, Agostina Lavagnino (Lombardy Region), Francesca Teston (EURAC) and Elisabeth Sötz (WWF Austria) elaborated on projects which are thematically related or directly came out of the work of AG6.
The thematic workshop on “Climate crisis and its effects on Forest and Timber Value Chains”, organized by the Task Force Multifunctional Forests and Sustainable Use of Timber (composed by members of AG 2, 6, 7, 8, 9) offered the chance to actively discuss this topic from various points of views.
The Alpine Convention and AG6 each had a stand with new publications, general information and interesting outputs.


Action Group 7

Welcome stars, welcome LUIGI!

Three years of work allow harvesting fruits: based on the political declaration “Alpine Green Infrastructure – Joining forces for nature, people and the economy”, AG7 developed the so-called “star initiatives” and is now happy to present and support projects that bring our stars into reality.
First, we welcome the ASP Interreg project “Linking Urban and Inner-Alpine Green Infrastructure” managed by the Metropolitan City of Milano. It involves AG7 members as project partners and its technical kick-off meeting was held back-to-back with the EUSALP Annual Forum.
The project aims to recognise and valorise the multiple benefits deriving from Green Infrastructure network between mountain/rural and urban areas. Orchard meadows will be the core elements in the work of LUIGI model regions.
Also, AG7 initiatives for riverine systems, peatlands and forests, gain tailwinds for implementation, with projects financed out of ARPAF (Impuls4Action, REDIAFOR) and Interreg cross-border(INNsieme). With LOS_DAMA!, one of the Regiostars award finalists 2019, and ALPBIONET2030 two projects, closely linked to the AG work, are still in finalisation phase and. AG7 will focus on capitalisation of outputs. More info here


Action Group 8

Fostering knowledge exchange about risk governance, adaptation and forests

In this last phase of AlpGov, several studies and reports of AG8 were finalized, i.e. the Risk Governance Policy Brief, the Climate Adaptation Platform for the Alps (CAPA), the Forest Fire Risk Study for the Alpine region and an Analysis on Financing Options for AG8.
Risk governance describes the inclusion of local stakeholders and need for decentral solutions. CAPA serves as a portal for climate change adaptation policy and practice. Lastly, forest fires in the future will pose an increasing threat and preparedness needs to be strengthened. Moreover, AG8 members met in Vitznau, Switzerland in October 2019. They not only discussed their activities, but also learned about the comprehensive natural hazard approach of the municipality Weggis. In September, AG8 hosted together with FAO a two-day conference about Protective Functions of Forests in a Changing Climate. More than 80 participants exchanged knowledge about challenges and management of mountain forests. Moreover, AG8 members joined the EUSALP Task Force for Multifunctional Forests and Sustainable Use of Timber and held a workshop at the Annual Forum in Milano.


Action Group 9

CAESAR: A new network for energy efficiency in small alpine enterprises

The implementation of energy efficiency measures not only improves the competitiveness of enterprises, it also forms a key element to reach Europe’s energy and climate targets 2030.
For small companies, determining energy saving potentials often requires unproportionally high costs and efforts. CAESAR, which involves the EUSALP Action Groups 2 and 9, will establish a professional network of stakeholders with the purpose of rolling out energy efficiency policies in small and medium enterprises.
The project will define benchmarks and create a low-barrier energy efficiency auditing tool, designed for the needs of all regions of the Alpine area and the demands of small enterprises in particular. In the course of the project, “energy tutors" will be trained to help enterprises use the CAESAR energy management tool and improve their energy efficiency. Thus, CAESAR addresses the gaps identified within EUSALP by setting the basis for the targeted qualification of stakeholders in the regions to define appropriate measures and accompany their implementation in enterprises. CAESAR is co-funded by the European Union under the ARPAF (Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund) programme.