Governance Study on Mobility and Transport in the EUSALP

The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), endorsed by the European Council in 2015, is based on a joint initiative of Alpine states and regions to strengthen cooperation between them and to address common challenges in a more effective way. Similar macro-regional strategies have been set up within the Baltic Sea area (EUSBSR, 2009), between the Danube states and regions (EUSDR, 2010), and between the Adriatic-Ionian region countries (EUSAIR, 2014). Macroregional strategies are integrated frameworks endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the European Cohesion, Structural or Investment Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to EU Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area. In pursuing a macroregional strategy, states, regions, and local communities benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion. Macroregional strategies are accompanied by rolling action plans to be regularly updated against new challenges and changing contexts. To date, the four macroregional strategies that have been set up since 2009 concern 19 EU member-states and eight non-EU countries. The EUSALP Strategy brings together seven countries, of which five are EU Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and two are EFTA countries (Liechtenstein and Switzerland). From a subnational perspective, EUSALP is a platform for cooperation for 48 regions. EUSALP is implemented by nine EUSALP Action Groups (AG), which organize their operations thematically along the four key objectives of the macroregional strategy. 


Within Objective 2 "Mobility and Connectivity", Action Group 4 is to promote intermodality and interoperability in passenger and freight transport. Action Group 4 thus offers a platform to identity, coordinate, orchestrate and potentially harmonise the activities of Alpine regions and countries to develop a sustainable transport and mobility system within and across the Alps. AG 4’s mission is to build a common understanding of transport policy and mobility, to define common objectives and to launch specific activities and projects. The EUSALP Action Group 4 addresses the need for sustainable mobility solutions by promoting intermodality and interoperability in passenger and freight transport. 


EUSALP’s AG 4 thus concentrates on coordinated approaches to develop a coherent strategy to tackle these challenges in order to ensure a sustainable development for the Alps. The EUSALP AG 4 offers a platform to coordinate and harmonise the activities of Alpine regions and countries for sustainable transport and mobility systems. Its mission is to build a common understanding of transport policy and mobility, to define common objectives and to launch specific activities and projects. Regarding the proposed study’s key subject of identifying and analysing modes of interregional governance frameworks in the EUSALP area, AG 4 concentrates, inter alia on the objective to foster transborder cooperation and greater integration between the existing bodies and structures in the field of transport. By enhancing the collaboration of AG 4 with different actors – governments, administrations and agencies at various levels of policy-making and policy-implementation - in the area of transport, mobility and sustainable development, EUSALP might improve coordination and consistency between policy initiatives to avoid duplication and encourage the alignment of related project funding. Cooperation in this regard has been established with the Alpine Convention, the Suivi- de-Zurich process, as well as the MONITRAFI network.


The project GOV.MO.TALP. will take these legally established frameworks as a starting point for further analysis: Starting from the EU’s acquis in the area of transport, mobility, the free movement of goods and persons, we will also analyse instruments and established transregional policy frameworks such as the Alpine Convention[1] and its transport protocol as well as the Zurich group[2] and several other trans-national working groups - such as Arge Alp, Cotrao[3], Alpe Adria, IQ-C group[4] - as developing approaches with regard to transalpine transport. The GOV.MO.TALP. study aims to provide for a comprehensive stock-taking of structures, inter- and intrainstitutional processes, related, formal and informal actors and instruments in the area of transport and mobility policies at various levels of governance. We will investigate international, interregional, national and regional policy frameworks that have been established to provide means for sustainable transport in the EUSALP region. Based on a thorough analysis of the legal foundations (treaties, conventions, laws, interinstitutional agreements, tertiary/soft law) as well as of the established means for inter- and intragovernmental coordination, parliamentary accountability and stakeholder as well as citizen engagement, GOV.MO.TALP. aims at identifying good governance practices and processes to tackle the related challenges in the field of mobility. 



[1] The Alpine Convention, a framework agreement signed by the Alpine countries in 1991, aims at protecting the sustainable development of the Alps. The implementation of measures in the field of transport is emphasised as early as in the framework convention and with the goal to «reduce the volume and dangers of alpine transport to a level which is not harmful to humans, animals and plants and their habitats, by switching more transport, in particular freight transport, to the railways (…) » (Alpine Convention, 1991). With the signing of the transport protocol (one of seven implementation protocols, signed by the states on 31 October 2000) by the Council of transport ministers of the EU on 12-10-2006, an important step in this direction was taken.

[2] Starting point of the Zurich group was the declaration «concerning the improvement of road safety, in particular tunnels in the Alpine zone », signed on 30thNovember 2001 by the transport ministers of Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy. The implementation of the declaration has developed to identify measures to be coordinated between the signatory Alpine countries for regulating road traffic and encouraging a shift to an alternative mode of transport.

[3] Communauté de Travail des Alpes Occidentales : parcours à travers la documentation régionale des alpes occidentales. Créé le 2 avril 1982, la COTRAO regroupe huit entités politiques des Alpes occidentales : les cantons suisses de Genève, Vaud et Valais, les régions italiennes de Ligurie, Piémont et Vallée d'Aoste, et les régions françaises de Rhône-Alpes et de Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Structure informelle, l’objet de la COTRAO est de développer la concertation, à travers des échanges d'information et une coordination des décisions, afin de réaliser des actions transfrontalières communes.

[4] International group for improving the quality of rail transport in the North-South-corridor.