The Alpine Macro-region, officially the EUSALP (the EU Strategy for the Alpine region), is an agreement signed in 2013 by the European Union countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia and by two non-European states, Switzerland and Liechtenstein; it includes the 48 regions and autonomous provinces located around the Alpine chain. The Italian regions are Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and the autonomous provinces are Trento and Bolzano. In order to increase the development of the territory by promoting sustainable mobility and the cooperation between the countries and regions that are part of it, the Alpine strategy aims to promote the sustainable energy management and natural and cultural resources, as well as the environmental protection of the territory. Finally, the development of services, transport and infrastructure is also fundamental for its communication. The attainment of sustainable growth and promotion of full employment, competitiveness and innovation by making mountain areas and urban areas communicate through cooperation, which lie at the heart of Alpine development, are the goals of the strategy.
After the presidencies of Slovenia, Bavaria for Germany and Tyrol for Austria, 2019 was Italy's turn and Lombardy was the leader in the presidency year of the European macro-regional strategy. Therefore, Italy intends to characterize the presidency of this year on concrete issues of macro-regional level such as the development of the competitiveness of the macro-region as a whole, by primarily promoting the creation of an environment for new job opportunities in the "Green Economy" and technology sectors, with a particular focus on youth entrepreneurship.
Environment, innovative ideas and technologies, including automation and mechatronics, in order to reconcile economic development and the safeguarding of natural resources while tackling with “macro-regional” problems such as air quality which is essential for health together with safety and quality of life in the entire macro-region or the reduction of the socio-economic gap between rural and urban areas. It is fundamental to promote concretely an alliance sealed by the collaboration for innovation and safeguarding that generates new business even in the inland, mountainous and remote areas of the macro-region.
The Alps, a common heritage of the Regions and States of the EUSALP, are the perfect "living lab" for the green economy and innovation. Thanks to the cross-border collaboration among the institutions of the governments, and the network of schools, universities and research centres in the territory, the Alpine macro-region can become the breeding ground for new, sustainable and successful development models.
The leading theme for the Italian presidency year is the competitiveness of the macro-regional system, considered mainly in accordance with the interpretation of the Green Economy, combined with the development of innovative technologies and the enhancement of the resources and heritage of the Alpine macro-region.
It is necessary for the region to involve the civil society of the EUSALP area at all levels in order make it aware of the great opportunity created by a macro-regional vision of the problems and the potential of economic and social development of the area. In addition, it is important that the collaboration between the actors of the Alpine area is not limited to the institutional subjects involved. Lastly, it is necessary to promote the new initiatives that have been independently developed by the various economic, social and cultural subjects present in the Alpine territory in a manner coherent with the objectives and guidelines of the Strategy.