Euromontana and Green Mountain signed on 20th of February the Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a Focus Group on Sustainable Mountain Development in South-Eastern Europe (SEE Focus Group). The official launch took place on the occasion of the GREEN MOUNTAIN final conference which assembled over 100 participants and was entitled “Cross-border solutions for sustainable growth in mountain and sensitive regions“. The conference was hosted at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels.
The launch of the Focus group results from discussions which were initiated in early 2013 between Euromontana and the Green Mountain Partnership. Green mountain partners were committed to continue the cooperation started in the framework of the project on a longer term basis. By joining Euromontana, they will benefit from the existing structure and experience of the network. For Euromontana, the arrival of new dynamic members from South-Eastern Europe will be the occasion to renew its vision and to dynamise its activities.
Concretely, the aim of the SEE Focus Group created inside Euromontana is to strengthen cooperation between members located in South-Eastern Europe in order to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals in mountain territories. In particular, it will seek to pursue Euromontana’s constitutional aims:
- Expression of the interests of mountain populations
- Valorisation of research
- Informing public opinion about problems and assets in mountainous zones
- Encourage training and research as well as the study of economic, social and ecological problems
- Development of international cooperation to reduce inequalities
With this initiative, the voice of European mountain areas will grow stronger and more united. “This is an important day for the mountain areas of Europe” said Euromontana’s president Juanan Gutiérrez in his speech, recalling that Euromontana was born from a conference in the Eastern part of Europe in Krakow in 1995.
The creation of the SEE Focus Group will strengthen the voice of mountain communities of South-Eastern Europe, facilitate cooperation actions and exchanges of experience, contribute to raising the awareness of local, regional and national authorities as well as of mountain people themselves on the critical value of mountain heritage and finally foster linkages with scientists working on these issues in South-Eastern Europe.
In this process, South-Eastern Europe members do not wish to be isolated but also to intensify their linkages with all Euromontana members throughout wider Europe, from Norway to Italy and Portugal to, now, Ukraine.
The Focus group will adopt its action programme 2014-2016 in the coming two months and will start implementing actions right away.
- Read here the press release from the Committee of the Regions.
- Read here the MoU text (the signed version will be put on-line shortly).
- Find here the presentations of the conference.
You want to join the Focus group? If you are a Euromontana member, fill the signature page here. If you are not a Euromontana member, join us.
Green Mountain and the membership of its partners to the Focus group are supported by the INTERREG IVB SEE programme.25 February 2014