On the 7th of February, the Austrian province of Tyrol officially took over the chairmanship of the European Macro-Regional Alpine Strategy (EUSALP), which brings together 48 regions from seven countries with more than 80 million inhabitants.
The outgoing presidency of Bavaria symbolically presented Tyrol the “Kolo-wheel”, thereby demonstrating that Tyrol will now steer the direction of EUSALP for a year. “The EU Alpine Strategy is a political initiative emanating from the regions. Under the Tyrolean chairmanship, we will be faithful to the motto we have chosen “shaping.future.together. – In the interest of the Alps! “In cooperation with our partners in the Alpine states and Alpine regions to work on sustainable solutions for the Alpine region,” said the Tyrolean governor Günther Platter in his opening speech.
At the kick-off event, high representatives of Austria, the EU and the Alpine regions were present. Among others, the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the President of the European Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz, the Special Adviser to the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Walter Deffaa and the heads of government of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions, South Tyrol and Trentino, Laurent Wauquiez, Arno Kompatscher and Ugo Rossi, took part.
Europe of guidelines
In the spirit of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the Union should focus in the future on the major guidelines: “The EU must take this back in other areas in order to leave the countries of regions and municipalities the freedom of local decisions. This is exactly where the EUSALP comes in”, says Tyrolean Governor Platter.
“The priorities of the Tyrolean Presidency will be mobility and transport, dual training, resource and disaster management and energy”, announced Governor Platter. “Transit traffic in particular is a topic that is burning under the nails for the whole of the sensitive Alpine region: with 2.25 million lorries driving alone over the Brenner Pass year after year, the limit has been reached. Together with our partners in EUSALP, we want to bring about a solution here.”
The Transport and Mobility Action Group is currently working on a tolling system that will apply to road transport in the Alpine region. The aim is to harmonize and implement measures to shift traffic from road to rail. In addition, a platform is to be developed that summarizes the various travel information systems.
10-point dual education plan
Under the EUSALP Presidency of Tyrol, the starting signal for the 10-point plan on dual training will be given. In addition to best practice examples, an action plan shows how dual training can best succeed.
Other key topics include resource use and disaster management. Especially in the Alps, the different uses are due to the greatly reduced extent of the permanent settlement area early and clearly visible. “Therefore, during the Tyrolean Presidency of the EUSALP, a series of activities will take place for the sustainable use of soils,” stressed Governor Platter.
Energy of the future
Tyrol has set itself the ambitious goal of being energy-autonomous by 2050. A step towards the energy of the future is the construction of a common energy observatory in the Alps, which collects, evaluates and shares data. Governor Platter: “We want to know which sources of energy are needed and when to provide the best sources of energy at the right time. We want to plan for the long term and make the most of the advantages of our homeland, the mountains. “
Regional diversity as strength
The participating high representatives welcomed the work program of the Tyrolean Presidency. “EUSALP makes the European Union tangible and accessible. There are many common challenges that can only be tackled together, such as climate change. I wish Tyrol all the best”, emphasized the Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz emphasized the role of the regions in the EUSALP:”In all the discussions about more or lessEurope, one thing is clear: it needs strong regions and we need a strong European Union based on the strength and strength of the European Union Regions sets – the EU is a diverse project. Diversity is not a problem but strength to live for.”
The representative of the European Commission Walter Deffaa pointed out that “the future of Europe will become more concrete in the coming year”. This requires a space, such as the Alpine region, where the initiative lies with the regions in the case of important decisions”. “I wish the Presidency Tirol all the best – for the regions and for Europe as a whole”, concluded the President of the Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz.
Source: CoR Newsletter