Commission launches EU Strategy for the Alpine Region
The Commission launched its fourth EU macro-regional strategy - the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP). It aims at fostering a closer cooperation between regions and countries in terms of research and innovation, SME support, mobility, tourism, environmental protection and energy resources management. This macro-regional strategy concerns seven countries; five Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia), and two non-EU countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and involves 48 regions overall.
The Strategy was launched in the form of a Communication and an Action Plan. They take into account the results of an online public consultation carried out between July and October 2014 as well as the conclusions of the high-level Stakeholder Conference in Milan on 1-2 December 2014. The Strategy will focus on four key policy areas :
1 - Economic growth and innovation with, for example, the development of research activities on Alpine-specific products and services (including an action to develop an effective research and innovation ecosystem).
2 - Connectivity and mobility, with the improvement of roads and railways and the extension of satellite access in remote areas.
3 - Environment and energy, with the pooling of mutual resources to preserve the environment and promote energy efficiency in the Region.
In addition, the Commission has identified the need to build a sound and efficient governance model for the Region. The Commission hopes to see the Strategy endorsed by the European Council later this year.