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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

What 🇪🇺 tools are available to enhance territorial #cohesion in mountain areas in the next programming period? How to use them? Feedback from the dedicated session of #EURegionsWeek 👇
https://t.co/03B0LnyTWt

Mountain areas can deliver on the #EUGreenDeal 🌱
Discover in our latest good practice Flugs, an e-carsharing system of #ElectricVehicles in the rural areas of East Tyrol 👉 a sustainable and flexible #mobility offer & a cheap alternative to private cars
https://t.co/7xGONM3yLF

➡️El trabajador de HAZI Juanan Gutiérrez, en calidad de Presidente de @Euromontana, participa en el Congreso organizado por @AnemMontagne los días 15 y 16 de octubre en Córcega.

#CongresANEM #TransiciónDigital #TransiciónEcológica #Montañas #CambioClimático

Almost 82% of all agricultural areas of #Slovenia are located on Less Favourable Farming #mountains, cultivated by roughly 80% of all farms.

Find out more about a country where 1/3 of products come from mountains!

👉🏼https://t.co/ORsUuAmCB0

CC @alpconv cc @Euromontana

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"We exist 🌄 We have specific challenges and resources that should be properly addressed. The @EU_Commission should develop a specific strategy for article 174 territories" says our Director Marie Clotteau at #EURegionsWeek #EWRC

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