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Services of general interest

Maintaining high quality of life in mountain areas

Equal access to services of general interest is a core issue affecting the functionality of mountain areas

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Ensuring that the mountain population has access to postal services, health care, telecommunications or daily needs is not only contributing to maintaining a high quality of life in these regions but also to territorial cohesion throughout Europe. The European Commission underlines the importance of services of general interest by stating “Services of general interest play a major role in ensuring social, economic and territorial cohesion throughout the European Union” (Source: White Paper on services of general interest COM 2004/374).

 

Creating and implementing solutions adapted to the specificities of mountain areas

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Mountain areas face difficulties to maintain existing services due to remoteness, difficult topography, high cost of maintenance, changing/new needs of the local population etc. Furthermore, ICT infrastructure and related ICT skills that could contribute to the sustainable delivery and maintenance of services are often lacking in mountain areas, where work has still to be done to bridge the digital divide. This challenging situation must be overcome by implementing innovative and tailor-made solutions that address the specificities of the areas. Such solutions do exist already and we encourage further exchanges of knowledge in that respect.

 

Our actionsroumanie2010-187_postman

Euromontana has been highlighting the importance of services of general interest since its foundation in 1996 and aims to contribute to a better recognition of mountain needs and innovative capacities in this respect.

 

Policy – representation

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In 2011, following a collaborative work done under the lead of SAB, Euromontana presented its’s position paper on services of general interest in mountain areas. Read also:

  • The summary of the position paper dedicated to mountain stakeholders in English
  • The summary of the position paper including political recommendations is available in English.

Follow –up of activities at EU level
Euromontana closely follows and inform its members about European policy development as regards services of general interest.

The key documents on services of general interest are the following:

Joint activities with the ACCESS project  (2008 – 2011)
ACCESS was an INTERREG IVb project within the Alpine Space Programme. The project aimed at improving accessibility of services of general interest in rural mountain areas. Euromontana assisted in the organisation of the final conference of the project on 28-29 June 2011.

Establishing relations to the CyberSUDOE projet (2009 – 2011)
CyberSUDOE (leadpartner: Cybermassif) was an INTERREG IVb (South/West of Europe). Its objective is to improve the competitiveness of SMEs through better use of ICTs. Euromontana supported the organisation of the final conference as well as the development of the good practice guide dedicated to mountain areas.

 

Events

  • 28-29 June 2011 | ACCESS final conference in Milano, Italy
  • 3 February 2011|  Intergroup “Specific territories” meeting on services of general interest in areas with specificities in Brussels, Belgium
  • 14 October 2010|  ACCESS conference: Accessing new ways – Organisational innovations for services of general interest in rural areas Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany    | Visit ACCESS website

 

Projects

The Interreg IIIC project aimed  to identify models and collect innovative solutions and their transferable success factors in order to overcome the natural handicaps of mountain areas within three sectors. One of these sectors this project was looking at was public and private services. The identification and promotion of these models identified have broaden the range of «tools» available to territorial communities in order to contribute to sustainable development in mountain regions and/or limit population exoduses.

 

  • LDTR projectstudy on services of general interest (2006)

In 2006, the LDTR (Loi française rélative au Développement des Territoires Ruraux) project “Exchange of European Experiences regarding the development of services of general interest in mountain areas” constituted another milestone on the way to shape the future development of services of general interest in mountain areas. Read the final report of the project

 

Are you interested in developing a project on services of general interest in mountain areas? Are you looking for partners for such a project? For more information, please contact Marie Clotteau

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Euromontana sur Twitter

Did you know 1/3 of PDOs and PGIs in Europe are produced in mountain areas? ⛰ They will now benefit from a stronger protection at international level, learn more on the impacts of the Geneva Act 👇 #GoodFood #MountainProducts
https://t.co/gWeaAg68b0

. @EUROPARC launched 3 courses for Natura 2000 managers on:
👉 policy and project management
👉 collaboration with local communities and respect of cultural traditions
👉 inclusive communication for Natura 2000
Applications are opened until October 30!
https://t.co/ogCzA5Traf

Last week our partner @Euromontana met with @BSacredeus, member of @RegionDalarna Council, member of the @EU_CoR and rapporteur for the recently adopted opinion on #ActiveandHealthyAgeing! See what she has to say on the #SilverEconomy 👇
https://t.co/idNsnZSHlQ

How digital #innovation can be a chance for Alpine regions? 💡Meet with people who found their life in the Swiss Alps thanks to modern infrastructures 👇
https://t.co/M8Df8szOR4

Feedback on the European Rural Sociology Conference 2019, where the concept of resilient villages has been explored 👉 Albarracin, in the Province of Teruel, is one of the village where cultural life is enhancing the resilience of the community
https://t.co/j6C60zlMWH

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