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

Bavarian presidency 2017: Political priorities

Logo EUSALP - Bayerischer Vorsitz 2017vergrößernBavaria 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 did 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 were 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. On 10 May 2017, the Bavarian State Government has hosted a meeting of the „Friends of EUSALP“-Group in the European Parliament at the Bavarian Representation in Brussels. The aim of the event was to discuss the Bavarian positions on how to better embed the macroregional strategies into the EU financial framework post 2020 with representatives from the European institutions. On 2 October 2017, State Minister Ulrike Scharf invited the environment ministers of the EUSALP member states and regions to a conference in Munich. The conference aimed to establish the Alps as a European model region for Green Infrastructure. As the highlight of the presidency the Annual Forum 2017 of the EU Alpine Strategy took place on 23 and 24 November 2017 in the Munich BMW Welt. During the Annual Forum, the presidency together with the political representatives of the member states and regions presented the implementation measures undertaken during the Bavarian presidency to the public, were engaged in discussions with citizens, associations, businesses, municipalities and institutions, and gave an outlook on the future implementation of the Strategy.

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 was continued during the Bavarian presidency. For example, during the Annual Forum, a large Citizens’ Forum and a Citizens’ Dialogue were open to the general public, with numerous opportunities for information and participation.