Innsbruck, 12 October 2012 – “Europe needs clarity and agreement about the Alpine region”, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the occasion of today’s conference of the Alpine states and Alpine regions held in Innsbruck to mark the 40th anniversary of the Working Group of Alpine Regions.
The cooperation between the Alpine regions has been exemplary for 40 years, but today the area is faced with new challenges, Spindelegger said. In a time when the economic situation is tense due to a financial and national debt crisis that has seized all of Europe, targeted measures are needed that are geared towards growth to secure jobs and support small and medium-sized companies, he said.
“I am convinced that only jointly designed concepts will have the desired effect. I therefore fully support the initiative on developing a macro-regional strategy for the Alpine area that was presented today. The economy, climate change, landscape conservation, traffic and energy are issues that must be tackled in a coordinated manner in Europe. These objectives need to be pursued on a European level following a joint strategy for the Alpine region.”
Spindelegger stressed that the role of the Alpine countries should be seen in a wider context. Through their cooperation they are helping to overcome the potential north-south divide in Europe and are creating new standards for common European thinking. Contact:Federal Ministry for European and International AffairsPress DepartmentTel.: ++43(0) 50 11 50-3262, 4549, 4550Fax: ++43(0) 50 11 59-213mailto:abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at