Programme priorities

Every year, depending on the availability of funds, the programme launches a call for project proposals.  Projects are usually selected in a two-step application procedure, and should have a strong link to the thematic fields of cooperation set out in the Cooperation Programme.

Four of these thematic fields, called priorities, have been identified for the 2014–2020 period:

Priority 1: Innovative Alpine Space
Priority 2: Low Carbon Alpine Space
Priority 3: Liveable Alpine Space
Priority 4: Well-Governed Alpine Space

1. Innovative Alpine Space

The first priority focuses on improving the conditions and opportunities for Alpine innovation, while promoting a transversal approach to cooperation. Two specific objectives have been identified, in order to provide a focus for projects wanting to address issues of innovation:

Specific objective 1 – Improve the framework conditions for innovation in the Alpine space

Projects funded under this objective should help develop the conditions for the development of research and innovation activities in the Alps. More specifically, they should enhance the potential for business innovation and innovation resources, while promoting knowledge transfer between businesses, innovation end-users, academia, and public administration.

Specific objective 2 – Increase capacities for the delivery of services of general interest in a changing society

Projects funded under this objective should aim to produce innovative solutions for more efficient, adaptable and adequate services of general interest in the Alpine Space. More specifically, they should develop common standards for services of comparable quality, increase capacities and promote exchange of information, foster the participation of all social groups and users in the design and delivery of social services and services of general interest.

2. Low Carbon Alpine Space

The second priority aims to promote the establishment of a low carbon society. Topics covered in this priority span from energy and transport to housing and spatial planning, all tackled through two separate specific objectives:

Specific objective 1 – Establish transnationally integrated low carbon policy instruments

Establishing transnational integrated low carbon policies is a task that involves multiple sectors related to energy and carbon emissions (e.g. building, spatial development, agriculture , etc.). Projects funded under this objective should build on existing knowledge and aim to raise awareness about the potentials of low carbon instruments across sectors and across various levels of decision-making. Other aims could include: capacity building to promote the adoption of low carbon policies, participatory improvements in decision-making, and responding to low carbon needs at a technological level. 

Specific objective 2 – Increase options for low carbon mobility and transport

Low carbon transport and mobility solutions must take into account a variety of factors,energy needs, information, habits and technologies. Projects funded under this objective should aim to promote low carbon and transport options, for example, by experimenting and implementing strategies, tools, and behaviours which can help make the shift to a low carbon economy, among decision makers and administrations. Projects under this objective should also foster the setting up of low carbon mobility solutions for people and freight transport.

3. Liveable Alpine Space

In this priority, the focus lies on the unique natural and cultural heritage of the Alpine region and how to best valorise and protect it. Therefore, the two following objectives have been selected:

Specific objective 1 – Sustainably valorise Alpine Space cultural and natural heritage

Sustainable valorisation means to integrate local resources in the added value chain without affecting the given natural, social and cultural capital.

As regards the valorisation of natural heritage, further steps towards policy implementation should be aimed at. Projects in this thematic field should promote a transnational Alpine identity by defining what sustainable valorisation means in their local and regional context. After achieving that, the next result lies in the development of innovative approaches for the sustainable valorisation of cultural and natural heritage to foster green growth and resource efficiency.

Specific objective 2 – Enhance the protection, the conservation and the ecological connectivity of Alpine Space ecosystems

Projects funded under this objective should focus, on one side, on the protection of ecosystems and the risk management related to them. On the other side, they should integrate risk prevention and sustainable use of ecosystems. The main aims should be to promote transnational cooperation in these fields, to develop alternative valorisation approaches for Alpine ecosystems, and to promote interoperability of existing databases and data availability.

4. Well-Governed Alpine Space

Objective – Increase the application of multilevel and transnational governance in the Alpine Space

The Alpine Space area is characterised by a long tradition of international and inter-regional cooperation on governmental and non-governmental level. The diversity of functions and objectives of them reflects the different background and institutional settings. With the upcoming challenges due to the global driving forces like climate change, economic globalisation, migration and societal transformation, the need for alignment of strategies and objectives has increased. The EUSALP stresses the need for increased multilevel and transnational governance. Here the ASP gives support and develops new transnational governance models and tools including the support to the development and implementation of the EUSALP.

The results to be delivered by the projects cover the following elements:

  • Gathering, consolidating, analysing and monitoring data on the potentials, obstacles and limits of multilevel and transnational governance, especially in the context of the EUSALP.
  • Increasing the capacity of stakeholders responsible for regional and national strategies and action plans to better integrate the transnational dimension in their work through developing transnational frameworks, platforms and networks especially in the context of the EUSALP.
  • The programme actions should result in concrete instruments for enabling and improving multilevel and transnational governance application.

Any project approved in the 2014–2020 period must have a strong link to one of the priorities and must prove that it has the potential to improve that specific domain of Alpine development. Each priority is extensively defined in the Cooperation Programme.  

For more details about the selection and approval of projects, please check the Project implementation handbook.