14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 169 The perspectives on connectivity are drafted in the collective article from all the editors of this publica tion simulating the situation in 2030 according to possible future scenarios and a detailed outlook is given in the conclusion article of the editors steps to undertake the Alpine ecological vision 2030 Two zooms are made from a political point of view into special topics such as Alpine connectivity towards neighbour mountain massifs with the exam ples of the Danube corridor between Alps and Carpathians and the EUSALP Alpine Macro Regional Strategy This last chapter aims to summarise the central topics of the publication to highlight the main statements and to advo cate for the implementation of Alpine ecological connectivity 5 1 Description of the macro regional context EUSALP and the opportunities of the Macro Region The Alpine Region is one of the most fascinating land scapes in Europe comprised of mountainous areas surrounding foothills as well as lowland areas This massive landscape is uniquely rich in natural and bio diversity resources hosts different communities of inhabitants and attracts millions of tourists and visitors yearly The region has huge economic and spatial de velopment potentials which also pose concurrent sus tainability and conservation challenges For this reason different regional and spatial development initiatives have been pursued over the years under the auspices of the national countries and the European Union EU to develop Alpine based co operation that would protect this remarkable European landscape Over time these initiatives set the stage for creation of the European Union Strategy for the Alpine Region EUSALP The EUSALP is the fourth European Macro Regional Strategy drawn up by the European Commission EC in collaboration with Member States involved to foster closer transnational co operation in the Alpine region Schmitt et al 2009 It is a key element of the implementation strategy of the European Territorial Co operation ETC for Cohesion Policy whose main objective is to improve the competitiveness prosperity and cohesion of the Alpine region Member States EC 2014 Europe 2020 EU Wide Headline Targets for Economic Growth European Commission As previously stated co operation programmes are not new in the Alps and have been seen as largely success ful Bauer 2014 Within the cooperative mechanisms mentioned the Alpine Convention Alpine Conven tion 1990 AC can be considered as a very effective and particular entity as it constitutes a binding legal Marianne BADURA Dorothea PALENBERG blue advancing european projects GbR consulting engineering Munich Germany instrument under international law and is willing to contribute its longstanding experience to the EUSALP process by involving its Alpine networks and stake holders PSAC 2013 Beitrag der Alpenkonvention zum Prozess einer makroregionalen Strategie für den Alpenraum ein Input Paper Moreover the AC provides the legal basis for the protection of the Alps wherever the national legal framework does not suf ciently apply Schmid 2015 However the AC and the EU programmes have had shortcomings in terms of discordance of topics policy levels and instruments territories and stakeholders which can create redundancy and discontinuity With EUSALP Alpine regional Member States could work more closely together to further address their common challenges and in so doing bene t from prevailing op portunities in the region Ecological network Signiªcance and opportunities of the EUSALP Environment is one signi cant policy focus of the EUSALP since its integrity is essential for sustenance of socio economic activities in the region and the well being of its inhabitants The EC s EUSALP Action Plan EU 2015b EUSALP Action Plan 2015 identi es the environment as an important area where macro regional co operation is needed objective 3 calls for A more inclusive environmental framework for all renew able and reliable energy solutions for the future Within objective 3 a set of three so called Action Groups tackle different aspects of environmental protection and resource management At an operational level there are two main Action Groups numbers 6 and 7 EC 2016

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