In March 2021, UNCEM, the National Union of Mountain Municipalities, Communities and Authorities, joined our network. UNCEM is the Italian national organisation gathering and representing the municipalities which are entirely or partially mountainous and the 360 mountain communities. UNCEM also represents some administrations and authorities (provinces, consortia, chambers of commerce) that operate in mountain districts. It covers 54% the entire area of Italy (10 million people).
UNCEM has developed its representative work with associated authorities in order to contribute to the promotion of the development of mountainous areas from a social, economic, civic, territorial and environmental point of view. UNCEM advocates that mountains are a national resource for a modern development of the country, UNCEM develops its activity in the service of the authorities that are members of the association. In particular, UNCEM’s activities aim at:
- Fully enforcing the last paragraph of Article 44 of the Italian Constitution (measures for mountain areas);
- Promoting a mountain policy which, through the participation of local authorities and all political, cultural, economic and social stakeholders, aims at defining and implementing every initiative as well as all legislative, productive and solidarity projects which, in line with the principles of environmental and territorial protection, include mountain people in the wider development process pursued at each institutional level;
- Supporting the provision of research and studies in order to identify solutions to be proposed to local and regional authorities, national government, parliament and European institutions, taking into consideration the peculiar problems of the areas;
- Assisting local authorities in the administrative actions developed within the framework of the relationships with different private and public authorities;
- Enhancing the specificities of mountainous regions, promoting all possible and useful connections between the socio-economic interests expressed by the territorial and demographic authorities and the planning guidelines for the organic and inter-sectorial development of mountains established at European, national and local levels;
- Promoting cooperation with national, European and international bodies interested in the socio-economic development of mountains.
UNCEM has close relationships with different national associations representing local autonomies, with the Permanent Conference of the Presidents of Autonomous Regions and Provinces, with CNEL and with various private and public authorities interested in the development of mountain areas.
UNCEM was established on 20 November 1952, immediately after the adoption of the first act on mountains (n. 991 of 25 July 1952). UNCEM was created as a non-profit association, on a voluntary basis, acquiring progressively more institutional significance, like ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities) and UPI (Union of the Italian Provinces), and emerging as an advisory body for the Parliament and the Government in the drafting of acts and administrative decisions of local interest.
In this context UNCEM has ensured a constant contribution with proposals on all issues regarding the socio-economic and institutional development of mountain areas, as well as through the participation in committee and ministerial working groups and in different institutions.
In particular, UNCEM has become a member of the Conference State-cities and Local Autonomies as well as a member of the Unified Conference representing the Mountain Communities. Furthermore, UNCEM is member of the Inter-ministerial Technical Committee for Mountains (CTIM).
As far as the national context is concerned, UNCEM is represented in every regional environment with its own delegations.
In the international context, UNCEM is represented in the Committee of the Regions of the European Union established with the Treaty of Maastricht. It also has own delegates in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CPLRE) of the Council of Europe. Moreover, it has contributed to the establishment of the European Association of the Elected Representatives from Mountain Areas (AEM).8 March 2021