II European Mountain Convention – Quality products

II European Mountain Convention – Quality products

17 & 18 March 2000
Trento - Italy

The II European Mountain Convention was organised on 17 & 18 March 2000 in Trento, Italy and focused on “mountain regions as pioneers of sustainable development. Quality: The comparative advantage of the future”.

This second edition is organised with the collaboration of Regione Trentino-Alto Adige; Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, Unione Contadini, Associazione Contadini Trentini, Unione Agricoltori, Federazione Coltivatori Trentini, Federazione Trentina delle Cooperative. The event is organised with the support of the Autonomous Province of Trento, the European Commission – Directorate General for Agriculture – and the French Ministry of Agriculture.

The forthcoming WTO negotiations and the recent reform of the CAP converge in the face of increased competition in the European and global economy. The new Common Agricultural Policy and Rural Development Policy, which will come into force in 2000, will be based on

  • A reduction in European agricultural prices to meet the requirements of the forthcoming WTO negotiations and to develop the competitiveness of European agriculture.
  • A strengthening of rural development policy with a high degree of subsidiarity, the intention to promote quality products and sustainable agricultural systems.
  • Specific arrangements for the adaptation and development of the CEEC in anticipation of their integration into the European Union.

These changes pose new questions for the rural and agricultural development of mountain regions. Euromontana wishes to inform and draw the attention of those involved in the development of mountain areas and their political decision-makers to the need to draw up development strategies which respond to these new economic and political requirements and which add value to the assets of these regions. Quality is one of these strategies that we will be exploring during the course of the project.

Quality and mountain regions are the central themes of Euromontana’s new project. Between September and December 1999, three thematic seminars will deal with these issues. On the basis of the results of these seminars, the second European Mountain Convention will be held in Trento (Italy) on 17 and 18 March 2000.

Preparatory work

Europe’s mountain regions are renowned for the quality of their landscape, environment and products. They are also the place where 50 million people live and work, contributing to the development of these areas. However, their topography, isolation, climate and other factors are permanent handicaps that hinder the development of economic activities.

The recent reform of Community policies and the preparations for the enlargement of the European Union are bringing new rural development measures for European countries, but also new challenges for the most vulnerable regions. In order to cope with increased competition between the European and world economies, these regions must find original ways of developing their specific assets.

The quality of products and regions, together with the traditional nature of activities and the diversity of environments, are essential assets of mountain regions. In addition, growing public awareness of environmental issues and the conditions under which food is produced is leading to new consumption patterns. The quality of products is at the centre of people’s concerns. Euromontana aims to bring mountain stakeholders to identify the best quality development strategies to meet the needs of their regions and the demands of consumers.

Ahead of the European Mountain Convention, Euromontana has organised a series of three thematic seminars in the autumn of 1999, each addressed to an audience of experts from Western, Central and Eastern Europe. The results of this work will provide the delegates with a detailed analysis of the situation at European level.

  • First seminar: Development and distribution of quality mountain products, Saint-Etienne, 3 & 4 September 1999
  • Second seminar: Quality at the service of sustainable development, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 29 & 30 October 1999
  • Third seminar: Quality and rural development in the mountain regions of the CEEC, Krakow, 17 & 18 December 1999

The Rhône-Alpes Regional Council (Fr), the Direction for Development and Cooperation of the Swiss Confederation (CH), the Basque Government through the Kalitatea Foundation (Sp), the Loire Departmental Council (Fr), the National Association for Agricultural Development (Fr) have also contributed to the financing of the preparatory seminars.

Event material


Preparatory documents