Bavaria has been a strong advocate for a European Alpine strategy since 2011 and has substantially contributed to the conceptual design of the Strategy. Bavaria is an active member of all nine actions of the Strategy and leads the implementation of Action 7 (ecological connectivity) together with the Slovenian Institute for Nature Conservation as well as Action 8 (to improve risk management and to better manage climate change, including major natural risks prevention) together with Austria.
From 1 January to 31 December 2017, Bavaria will assume the presidency over the implementation of the Strategy. The cornerstones of the Work Programme for the Bavarian presidency over the EU Alpine Strategy were presented in the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU in Brussels on 29 November 2016 and will now be shaped into concrete measures during the course of several events. In a first step, the political priorities of the Bavarian presidency 2017 were approved by the General Assembly of the EU Alpine Strategy on 13 February 2017 in Rottach-Egern. The day after, the Action Groups and the Executive Board of the Strategy convened for an Action Group Forum from 14 to 16 February 2017 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in order to tackle the adopted priorities with concrete projects and implementation measures.
The Bavarian presidency 2017 is guided by the motto: “EU Alpine Strategy – joint action for the benefit of the Region”. As the implementation of the Strategy is still in an early phase, the timely involvement and information of citizens and stakeholders is a stated aim of the Bavarian presidency. The development of the Strategy itself followed a “bottom-up” approach in Bavaria. The Bavarian State Government has broadly discussed the ideas of municipalities, businesses, associations, non-governmental organisations and citizens, e.g. in the course of the Bavarian “Alpine Dialogues” (Alpine Dialogue I in Hohenaschau Castle on 21 May 2014 as well as Alpine Dialogue II in Irsee Monastery on 17 March 2016).
The dialogue with the relevant actors will be continued during the Bavarian presidency. For example, during the Annual Forum, a large Citizens’ Forum will be open to the general public, with numerous opportunities for information and participation.