For the period 2007-2013, the Community Initiative INTERREG has been upgraded to the 'European Territorial Cooperation Objective', which underlines the importance the European Commission and the Member States attach to the added value of transnational cooperation. This offers more visibility to the programme and its projects. The new programme is called 'European Territorial Cooperation Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013. Together with 13 other programmes it strives for transnational cooperation in and between the European regions.
The Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013 is the EU transnational cooperation programme for the Alps. Partners from the seven Alpine countries work together to promote regional development in a sustainable way.
The Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013 aims to increase competitiveness and attractiveness of the cooperation area by developing joint actions in fields where transnational cooperation is required for sustainable solutions. Derived from this overall objective specific objectives have been defined:
- to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and strengthen research and innovation capacities for SMEs;
- to enhance a balanced territorial development to make the Alpine Space an attractive place to live, work and invest;
- to improve accessibility of the Alpine Space and to manage economical and environmental consequences of transport systems;
- to improve accessibility to services and connectivity within the Alpine Space;
- to protect, manage and enhance natural and cultural assets for sustainable development;
- to prevent and mitigate natural and technological hazards and manage their consequences, with specific regard to climate change impacts.
The priorities of the Programme will contribute to the achievements of the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies.
The Alpine Space Programme cooperation area comprises the Alpine core area in the geographical sense, the surrounding foothills and lowlands of the 'peri-Alpine belt', a small part of the Mediterranean coastal area including the Adriatic and parts of the great river valleys of Danube, Po, Adige, Rhône and Rhine.
There is a Programme Committee uniting coordinators from all participating states, the Managing Authority located in Austria and the Joint Technical Secreteriat offering technical support. Simultaneously the European Commission acts as a observer for the Programme.