Original publication: July 2016
Author: Beata Tuszyńska, Seconded National Expert
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Alpine Transport and Tourism in Austria, Germany and Italy

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This overview of the transport and tourism sectors in Austria, Germany and Italy was prepared to provide the information for the mission of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) to the three Alpine countries (18-20 July 2016).

On 28 July 2015, the European Commission (EC) launched the European Union Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP). This macro-regional strategy concerns around 80 million inhabitants, 48 regions and seven countries: five Member States – Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia – and two non-EU countries – Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The EUSALP aims to contribute to a better cooperation between the regions and states, helping them tackle the challenges that the Alpine region faces. It identifies the following three thematic policy areas:

  1. Economic growth and innovation with, for example, the development of research activities on Alpinespecific products and services (inter  alia on agro-, health- and sustainable year-round tourism).
  2. Connectivity and mobility, where promotion of intermodality (here understood as the possibility to combine several means of transport during the same journey) is recommended, in particular by:
    – removing infrastructure bottlenecks, bridging missing links and modernising infrastructure; and
    – enhancing cooperation and coordinated planning and improving timetables for public transport.
  3. Environment and energy, with the pooling of mutual resources to preserve the environment and promote energy efficiency in the region.

Map 1: The Alpine region as defined in the EUSALP, the Interreg Alpine Space Programme1 and the UN Alpine Convention2

Additionally, there is a horizontal policy area distinguished in the EUSALP, which focuses on building a sound and efficient governance model for the Alpine region.

The EUSALP was endorsed by the Council of the EU on 27 November 2015. Since 2013, the European Parliament (EP) has been calling on the EC to establish a macro-regional strategy for the Alpine region, following the results and learning experience afforded by  the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. On 15 June 2016, Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI) adopted its report on the EUSALP. In relation to transport, the report underlines, among other factors, the importance of connecting transport routes with other parts of Europe and of creating interconnections with TEN-T corridors while making optimum use of existing infrastructure. It stresses the need to improve transport connectivity among the participating countries, including local, regional and cross-border transport and intermodal connections with the hinterland. Moreover, the report calls on the Member States to introduce sustainable transport policies in line with the Paris COP21 targets and to support the preservation and maintenance of ecosystem services throughout the entire alpine macro-region. The need to prioritise modal transfers with a view to shifting from road to rail, in particular for freight, is also mentioned in the REGI report.

Link to the full publication: http://bit.ly/573-459

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