New Forms of Decision Making

 

Situation and Challenges

Relations to the Alpine Convention

Public participation and new ways of decision making are not explicitly mentioned in the Alpine Convention (AC). But in the preamble of several protocols it is mentioned that the local people should be enabled to define their ideas on social, cultural and economic development.

Locals should be involved in the implementation of these ideas within the frame of existing regulations. The AC calls for an integrated policy including negotiations, and the balancing of interests among the involved parties (political authorities, Alpine regions, member states, EU).

But while many international agreements already provide for political co-determination (see introduction), there are often still antiquated structures in place at the local level which make it more difficult for those concerned to play an active part.

Nonetheless, the number of citizens who are no longer prepared to take a back seat is growing. People want to have their say and be involved in decisions, whether as home or land owners, farmers, rail users or motorists, conservationists, or even as members of a bakers' guild, a tourist organisation or a citizens' initiative.
Further Readings & Links

What is needed is qualified co-determination

Beispiel
Qualified co-determination is ugently needed (Source: Eric Vazzoler / ZEITENSPIEGEL).
CIPRA supports the trend of people wanting to have their say and calls for cooperative planning and development approaches to be adopted more extensively in future projects. This presupposes that the agents involved know how these approaches work. They must be educated accordingly, whether they work for municipalities, for regional or national administration, for private businesses or for NGO's. CIPRA expects from municipalities, and regions in particular, that forces acting on behalf of the protection of the Alps and sustainable development become more closely involved in the political decision-making process, to which the criteria of good governance must apply as a matter of principle:
  • Democratic legitimacy
     
  • Effectiveness
     
  • Transparency
     
  • Subsidiarity
     
  • Participation
     
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2001)
White Paper on how to improve good governance & community participation in the EU.