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Logo der EU-Strategie für den Alpenraum (EU'SALP)

What is the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region?

Bayerische Alpen. © Wolfilser - FotoliavergrößernThe Alpine Region is among the largest natural, economic and productive areas in Europe, with over 80 million inhabitants, and among the most attractive tourist regions, welcoming millions of guests per year. While trade, businesses and industry in the Alpine Region are concentrated in the main areas of settlement on the outskirts of the Alps and in the large Alpine valleys along the major traffic routes, over 40 % of the Region is not or not permanently inhabited.

Due to the Alpine Region’s unique geographic and natural characteristics, it is particularly affected by several of the challenges arising in the 21st century:

  • Economic globalisation requires sustainable and consistently high competitiveness and the capacity to innovate.
  • Demographic change leads to an ageing population and outward migration of highly qualified labour.
  • Global climate change already has noticeable effects on the environment, biodiversity and living conditions for the inhabitants of the Alpine Region.
  • A reliable and sustainable energy supply must be ensured in the parts of the Region which are difficult to access.
  • As a transit region in the heart of Europe and due to its geographic features, the Alpine Region requires custom-fit traffic concepts.
  • The Alpine Region is to be preserved as a unique natural and cultural environment.

The EU Alpine Strategy tackles these challenges with innovative actions in close cooperation between the states and regions of the Alpine Region. It thus strengthens the economic, political and social cohesion in the heart of Europe.

The Strategy concerns seven states and 48 regions within these states. Its Action Plan of 28 July 2015 encompasses three thematic focuses – competitiveness and innovation, environment-friendly mobility, as well as sustainable use of energy, natural and cultural resources – which are divided into nine concrete actions.