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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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📣Registration still open for the final event of our Silver SMEs project! Our member SOČAsnik will be there to explain how a mountain municipality like Tolmin can adopt a local strategy for older adults!Join us in Brussels on 21 February! Programme & registration ⬇️projects2014-2020.interregeurope.eu/silversmes/events/event/5482/silver-smes-final-conference/💬 Our conference will discuss how territories address ageing in rural areas with:🔹 V. Kozar from SOČAsnik 🔹 D. Bazuń from Uniwersytet ZielonogórskiHow municipalities can develop local strategies for older adults? How to train & support businesses?👉Join us on 21.02 to learn more ⤵️projects2014-2020.interregeurope.eu/silversmes/events/event/5482/silver-smes-final-conference/ ... See MoreSee Less
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The recent 🇪🇺 report on demographic change promotes the Silver Economy as a solution to ageing in rural Europe 👉 Our member Sodebur will present how they support SMEs from this sector at Silver SMEs conference!📅21 February📌Brusselsprojects2014-2020.interregeurope.eu/silversmes/events/event/5482/silver-smes-final-conference/💬 Our conference will discuss how territories address ageing in rural areas with:🔹 Dr. A. ConwayLenihan from Munster Technological University 🔹 N. Norman from Region Dalarna 🔹 B. García Val from Sodebur How to encourage rural SMEs to embrace the Silver Economy? How to adapt local and regional policies to demographic trends?👉 Join us on 21.02 to learn more ⤵️projects2014-2020.interregeurope.eu/silversmes/events/event/5482/silver-smes-final-conference/ ... See MoreSee Less
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📣Registration still open for the final event of our @Silver_SMEs project!

Our member from Slovenia will be there to explain how a mountain municipality like Tolmin can adopt a local strategy for #OlderAdults!

Join us in Brussels on 21 February! ⬇️
https://t.co/A6rXLRPvmH

📣Get your mountain food marketing campaign funded by the @EUAgri promotion calls!🌄🧀

ℹ️ Following the info days, we tell you all about the #funding opportunities & how to promote
👉EU label mountain product
👉#GeographicalIndications
👉sustainable foods
https://t.co/ol9ql9w2hJ

Comment maintenir les petits magasins de village en régions de montagne? Quelle est l'importance d'une approche régionale et quel est le rôle de la numérisation? Ce sont des questions que nous aborderons le 27 avril 2023 à Berne. https://t.co/fbtMJtQ4aW

📢 Join our new Thematic Group on #CSPimplementation

Let's look at ways to:

Explore approaches to #CAP implementation
Identify early implementation models 
Enhance #networking & peer learning among Member States

Apply before 16/02⏰

🔗 https://t.co/vBu3BKJipi

Ageing, depopulation, COVID-19, employment: how do they impact on mountain demography? 🤔 Check out the #DemographyEU report!

Join us on 2️⃣1️⃣ February to discuss #ageing in rural Europe at @Silver_SMEs conference‼️
ℹ️ Info: https://t.co/jZuXZiKsMi
https://t.co/OQFNHzkxBq

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