Political Framework in the Alps


Policies for Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development

Europe's Common Agricultural Policies

Agricultural respectively rural development policies on European and national level are considered to be most relevant for Alpine areas, above all because of the possibility of providing financial assistance for mountain farming respectively for "less favoured areas" and thus preserving Alpine cultural landscapes.

According to a large evaluation of mountain policies (NORDREGIO 2004) the EU agricultural policy and its implementation in the Alpine states has had mixed results: some traditional occupations such as Alpine farming and cheese–making have been enhanced but on the other hand large farms with intensive farming in lowland areas were favoured: small farming enterprises, which contribute a great deal towards the identity of the Alpine region and to the diversity of the landscape, are threatened in their very existence (learn more about Mountain Agriculture by clicking here).
Further Readings & Links

"Future in the Alps Workshop"
Workshop on the forestry sector in regional politics: options for a sustainable development in the Alpine area.

EU Agricultural policies influence also agricultural practices in the Alps (Source: L. ULRICH).

Shifting Towards Rural Development Policies

Since some years, however, a shift towards a more comprehensive rural development policy is taking place. Support for rural development facilitates turning natural mountain handicaps into advantages and invigorating an economy based on natural resources within rural areas: maintaining jobs and businesses, promoting high-quality, geographically-identified products, and making the most of local resources.

Forestry Policies

Forestry policies reflect the inter-sectoral functions of forests (which have not only a productive, but also an environmental and recreational value). The specificities of mountain forests are addressed with explicit mountain forest strategies or a more or less co-ordinated set of measures relevant for mountain forests (click here to read more about Mountain Forests).
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2006): The rural development policy 2007-2013
An overview of the EU Rural Development Policy from 2007 to 2013.

OECD 2006 policy brief
This short document explains the OECD’s rural policy.