Furthermore, big flows of immigration have dramatically changed local societies, especially in and near Alpine and peri-Alpine cities, and in tourist regions. This sometimes brought about very innovative social and political dynamics, sometimes conflicts between social groups (especially in peri-urban areas and in big ski resorts).
Out-migration and abandonment causes problems in many areas in the alps, such as in the Valle Blenio in Switzerland (Source: L.ULRICH).
Huge out-migration produced marginalization and abandonment in some regions (Southern French Alps, Alpine Piedmont) and a disequilibrium and distortion of the social structure to such an extent that one could not talk about "local societies" any more.
During the same period most Alpine countries - federal or not - adopted decentralisation and administrative acts which gave new competencies or official frames for action to municipalities.
The Swiss "Mountain Investment Act", the Italian "Comunità Montane" and the French "Loi d’Orientation sur l’Aménagement et de Développement Durable des Territoires" et "Loi sur l’Intercommunalité" encouraged local people and municipalities to discuss and implement policies at a regional scale.
Despite the lack of related mountain specific programmes in Austria, both the "Mountain Farmers Special Programme" addressing solely mountain farmers and the programme for "Independent Regional Development" which puts its emphasis on regional development in general (not exclusively in mountain regions), prove to have a positive impact on the promotion of local governance.