Mountain areas face major connectivity challenges. The natural constraints of mountains make infrastructure investments more costly, and mountain areas are often overlooked when it comes to developing mobility or digital services. Euromontana raises awareness of these specific challenges in order to promote the socio-economic development of mountain areas and increase their attractiveness.

Ensuring access to mobility

Many mountain areas face challenges in terms of accessibility. Natural constraints and low population density in remote areas are still major obstacles to the development of efficient transport, and dependence on the private car is still high. Mountain areas also have to cope with seasonal demand from the tourism sector and provide transport to the last mile. In the face of the climate crisis, mountain areas must not be left behind in the transition to greener mobility. Euromontana therefore advocates for transport policies that meet the needs of both local communities and visitors, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We call for
  • Developing public transport services, including electric mobility, using the Operational Programmes of the Cohesion Policy and the Rural Development Programmes.
  • Maintaining, developing and decarbonising small train lines and develop rail freight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in congested valleys.
  • Fostering innovation in the transport sector, for example through social innovation, research on rural-urban linkages or solutions such as combined rail transport.
  • Supporting the exchange of good practices between regions facing similar challenges and the transfer of solutions that can be replicated locally, such as on demand transport, reverse mobility and multimodal strategies.

Bridging the digital divide

Digital connectivity is essential for the economic development and attractiveness of mountain areas. Euromontana has long supported the roll-out of high-speed internet in mountain areas. In recent years, the combined efforts of the European Union and Member States have helped to significantly reduce the digital divide between rural and urban Europe. 91.4% of rural households in the EU have access to broadband and 72.9% to ultrafast broadband. However, there are still gaps in the deployment of other technologies, in particular 5G, with only 51.5% of rural areas covered. Euromontana welcomes the efforts made and calls for them to be continued.