The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region

The EUSALP brings together 48 regions from seven states (Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein) with more than 80 million inhabitants. Thereby, the EUSALP offers the opportunity to develop sustainable and innovative solutions for the Alpine Region, one of the largest living, natural and economic spaces in Europe, to jointly master the challenges of a globalized world. The Communication and the Action Plan on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region were formally adopted by the European Commission on 28 July 2015 and by the European Council on 28 June 2016.

What is the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region?

During 2018, the Tyrol held the presidency of EUSALP, the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region. The Tyrol had lead responsibility during this year for the further development and implementation of EUSALP, in close collaboration with the European Commission, the participating States and Regions, the Alpine Convention and the Interreg Alpine Space Programme. During the year of the presidency, the Tyrol took important steps to further implement the objectives of EUSALP. Emphasis was placed on the transfer of goods and passenger traffic from road to rail, cross-border passenger information, dual training, the sustainable and balanced use of Alpine resources, natural hazard management and the energy sector

Main topics of the Tyrol’s EUSALP presidency at a glance

Work programme EUSALP Presidency Tyrol 2018
Programme de travail Présidence tyrolienne EUSALP 2018
Programma di lavoro Presidenza tirolese di EUSALP 2018
Program dela Predsedstvo Tirolske v EUSALP 2018

Calendar of events 2018

EUSALP Annual Forum under the motto "shaping.future.together. with the next generation"

The Tyrolean Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) is drawing to a close, culminating in the two-day Annual Forum which took place in Innsbruck on 20 and 21 November. More than 1,000 participants from the entire Alpine region attended the event at the Congress Innsbruck.

Under the motto " shaping.future.together. with the next generation", the focus of the Annual Forum was on young people: "The integration of youth must be promoted in the long term. More than 350 young people are present at the Annual Forum - their ideas and opinions will bring a breath of fresh air and new perspectives that are important for our work," said Governor of the Tyrol Günther Platter. Three "Alpine Projects" of young people, selected from 17 submissions from all over the Alpine region, were selected as part of the event.

Together with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Governor Günther Platter presented the results of the Tyrolean presidency. In addition to dual training - the Tyrolean model is regarded as a model project within the 48 regions and is also intended to help other regions reduce youth unemployment - it were the Tyrol's efforts to achieve a balanced transport policy across the Alpine corridors that shaped the presidency. The focus was also on strengthening supra-regional mobility, for example through combined ticket and information systems in public transport. Furthermore, the General Assembly supported the protection of soil resources in the Alpine region, which is reflected in a "Declaration on Intelligent Land Use and Soil Protection" supported by six Alpine states and 20 regions.

Results of the 2nd EUSALP Annual Forum in Innsbruck

Press release Land Tirol (in German)


Just before the 2nd EUSALP Annual Forum, which was focusing on the next generation, a youth workshop took place on 19 November 2018 in Innsbruck.

Around 20 young active people between 15 and 28 from all over the Alpine Region were invited to develop and present their ideas on youth participation in the EUSALP process. They bring in their ideas and expectations and work together with the EUSALP Executive Board to develop an “Action Plan for Youth Participation“. The first results of their work will be deepened and concretized in a second workshop in March 2019. In the long term, the Action Plan for Youth Participation should be anchored in the future activities of EUSALP to ensure that the voice of youth is heard.

The process “youth.shaping.EUSALP.” is jointly organised by the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency, the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development, the Office for Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, the Association Alpine Town of the Year and CIPRA International.


Workshop results

Safe living space Alps through new ways in risk management

The ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop) is the world’s largest conference on snow and avalanches. The focus lies on current developments in the field of snow and avalanche research and on innovative technologies at an international level. In October 2018, the ISSW brought international experts from all over Europe to Innsbruck. On 10 October, a Public Day was organized in cooperation with EUSALP Action Group 8 to make the conference results accessible to a broad audience. Under the topic “Safe living space through new ways in risk management”, representatives from regional and local politics, among them Josef Geisler, Deputy Governor of the Tyrol, as well as practitioners and researchers presented and discussed new approaches to natural hazard management.

Conference on alpine food culture in Innsbruck

"We have a gigantic culinary diversity in the Alpine region, which we have to rediscover". The Swiss book author and food researcher Dominik Flammer was one of many participants to highlight the culinary strengths of the Alpine region on 4 October in Innsbruck. The occasion was a conference on the current status of the INTERREG project "AlpFoodway", in which 14 partners from six Alpine countries are working on collecting regional food from mountain regions and documenting production and preparation methods as well as the associated skills, equipment and traditions. One aim of the project is to include Alpine food culture in the UNESCO register of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Support for “AlpFoodway” comes from Josef Geisler, Deputy Governor of the Tyrol: "The inclusion of Alpine food culture as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage can raise awareness of the special nature and value of Alpine agriculture with its food, farming methods and traditions". "AlpFoodway" cooperates with Action Group 6 of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region, which is dedicated to the preservation and valorisation of the abundant Alpine natural and cultural resources. The conference therefore took place as part of the Tyrolean Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.

2nd EUSALP Energy Conference

The geographic and structural characteristics of the Alps provide good potentials to make the Alpine region a European “model region for renewable energies and energy efficiency”. The 2nd EUSALP Energy Conference on 2 October 2018 in Innsbruck was therefore dedicated to the topic “Energy Transition in the Alps”. The conference was organized by the Energy Agency Südtirol-KlimaHaus, leader of EUSALP Action Group 9, in cooperation with the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency.

Politicians, representatives of local, regional and national administrations as well as stakeholders, experts and civil society from the EUSALP regions and states discussed current challenges of the energy transition in the Alps and possible solutions. While Josef Geisler, Deputy Governor of the Tyrol, underlined the importance of the energy sector for the sustainable development of the entire Alpine region, the presented examples and studies showed the practical relevance of the topic and the potential for cross-border exchange in the area of energy.

Please find the presentations and further information here

EUSALP expert event „Cooperation in Natural Hazard Management“

One challenge that particularly affects the Alpine region is global and climatic change and the associated natural hazards. In this regard, the population’s response to risk is of great importance. Regional cooperation models for financing protective measures, such as water associations and cooperatives in the area of flood, avalanche and rock protection, can make an important contribution here.

The expert event "Cooperation in Natural Hazard Management" at the Tyrol Days of the European Forum Alpbach, which took place on the 18 August 2018 in the Congress Centre Alpbach in Alpach, Austria, offered the opportunity to discuss the different forms of cooperation as well as the challenges and possible solutions with science and practice, local and regional decision-makers throughout the Alps and Europe. 

Meeting of the regions and states of the Alpine region in Pörtschach

On 5 and 6 July, the regions and states of the Alpine region met in the EUSALP Executive Board, the EUSALP body responsible for coordination, in Pörtschach am Wörthersee in the Austrian region Carinthia. In parallel, a meeting of the leaders of the nine EUSALP Action Groups took place. The Executive Board prepared the Annual Forum, the largest event under the Tyrolean Presidency, which will take place in Innsbruck on 20 and 21 November under the motto "shaping.future.together. - with the next generation". In addition, the regions and states began to prepare the General Assembly, which on 20 November will provide political impetus for the coming year. The Italian delegation gave a preview of the Italian Presidency in 2019.

A joint meeting of the Executive Board and the Action Group leaders took place on 6 July. The focus was on a lively exchange on the Annual Forum, in which the Action Groups will participate with exhibition stands and workshops, on ways to improve the communication and visibility of EUSALP and on the ongoing projects and activities of the Action Groups. A synergy brunch gave the occasion to network among projects of the INTERREG Alpine Space Programme and with the EUSALP Action Group leaders to refresh the cooperation and align activities.

EUSALP Mobility Conference in Trento

The EUSALP Mobility Conference in Trento on 20 June provided an opportunity to discuss the issue of secondary transport networks and their links to the major European transport corridors in the Alpine region at expert and political level. The conference was organised by the EUSALP Action Group 4, which is chaired by the European Region Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino. In addition to deputy governor of the Tyrol Ingrid Felipe, the governor of South Tyrol, Arno Kompatscher and the regional councilors of transport of South Tyrol, Florian Mussner, Trento, Mauro Gilmozzi and Veneto, Elisa De Berti, were present.

"The topic of transport is of great importance for the Alpine macro-region. Shifting freight traffic to rail remains the top priority. We have also anchored this as a priority in the EUSALP Presidency Programme," explained Felipe, deputy governor of the Tyrol. Felipe also stressed the importance of cooperation in the Alpine region: "It is important to convince our partner regions in the Alpine arc of our plans and to work together with them on solutions. The EUSALP Action Group is doing excellent work here, which we want to implement at the political level.”

Working session on green infrastructure in the Alpine region

On 13 June a working session of the EUSALP Action Group 7 took place at the Landhaus in Innsbruck. Action Group 7, in which representatives of the regions and states of the entire Alpine region participate, deals with the subject of green infrastructure and ecological connectivity. "Especially when it comes to transport, biodiversity and sustainability, it is of particular importance that the EUSALP countries and regions act together," is Deputy Governor of the Tyrol Ingrid Felipe convinced. The meeting was held in Innsbruck to explore synergies with the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency. In addition, the city of Innsbruck is to participate as an observer in the Action Group in the future.

Press release (in German)

Expert workshop on EUSALP Energy Observatory in Innsbruck

The Tyrol has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming energy-autonomous by 2050. To achieve this, fossil fuels should be replaced by domestic energy sources. One step towards the energy of the future is the establishment of a joint energy observatory in the Alpine region, which collects, evaluates and makes energy data accessible. Under the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency, the members of EUSALP Action Group 9 are organising a series of workshops with energy data experts to examine the feasibility and define the framework for a future EUSALP Energy Observatory. The second expert Workshop took place on 6 June in Innsbruck.

More information

Series of workshops on „Preparing the ground for the future“

When land is discussed in Tyrol, it is often in connection with the topic of housing and the costs involved. "However, the economical and responsible use of soil as the basis of life and the economy is also an imperative in terms of food supply and preventive disaster control.” This was emphasized by the Tyrolean Deputy Governor Josef Geisler on the occasion of the event series "Preparing the ground for the future" in Innsbruck, which was organized by Climate Alliance Tyrol in cooperation with the Links4Soils project, the Tyrolean EUSALP Presidency and the EUSALP Action Group 6.

On a total of four days from 16 to 18 May, experts informed about aspects of sustainable soil management: How can we deal with living soil in a sustainable way with regard to current developments and challenges? What opportunities are there for municipalities and planners to make the development of the settlement area sustainable? The objectives were to raise awareness and build up capacities on the subject of soil.

Press release (in German)

Tyrolean Future Day on 5 April 2018

This year's Future Day was dedicated to the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region.

300 guests from business, politics and research discussed approaches for the Alpine region of the future together with young people. "On the occasion of this year's Future Day, we involved, in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck, especially young people," emphasised Governor Günther Platter. Their ideas and approaches were taken up to face the common challenges of the future. The audience was also invited to participate in discussing the central issues in the Alpine region. In a quick survey, those present spoke out in favour of strengthening the regional level in the EU and stepping up cooperation in the areas of transport and natural hazards. Deputy Governor Josef Geisler discussed the possible contribution of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region to these topics with experts and a student.

The numerous guests also had the opportunity to inform themselves in an "Alpine Mile" about the concrete results of cross-regional projects. The topics ranged from transport and mobility, dual education and the integration of young people in politics to energy and risk management. "The projects presented not only reflect the many facets of the EUSALP, but also show how result-oriented and target-oriented interregional cooperation is", congratulated Governor Platter.

Press release (in German)

Kick-off event EUSALP presidency Tyrol 2018 on 7 February 2018

Programme of the kick-off event

On 7 February the Tyrol took over the presidency of the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region from Bavaria who was chairing in 2017. In a very symbolic way, Michael Hinterdobler handed over the “kolowheel” to the governor of Tyrol, thus illustrating that now the Land is in charge of giving direction to EUSALP’s implementation.

“The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region is a political initiative stemming from the regions. Under the Tyrolean Presidency, we will work on sustainable solutions for the Alpine region, in cooperation with our partners in the Alpine states and Alpine regions and according to our motto ‘shaping.future.together.’”, explained governor of the Tyrol Günther Platter in his opening speech.

The Kick-off event was attended at a very high level by the Federal President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz, Walter Deffaa, Special Adviser to European Commissioner Corina Crețu, President of the European Committee of the Regions Karl-Heinz Lambertz as well as the governors of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, South Tyrol and Trentino, Laurent Wauquiez, Arno Kompatscher und Ugo Rossi.

Press release Land Tirol (in German)

Press release European Commission

Live video kick-off event (Firefox or Chrome)