Governance and Youth in the Alps


Agenzia di Sviluppo Gal Genovese

The area where we live and work is as unique as it looks: next to the coast and link to the most populated cities and urban areas, the valleys in the inland embody the features of rural and mountain villages. Its membership include: Metropolitan City of Genoa; Chamber of Commerce of Genoa; Bacino Imbrifero Montano Consortium (BIM Bormida); National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI Liguria); CARIGE Bank;  Valle Stura Expo Consortium; Italian Farmer Confederation (CIA - Genova); Federation of Provincial Farmers (Coldiretti Genova); National Crafts Trades Confederation (CNA Genova) ; Traders Association (Ascom Genova); Italian Confederation of Traders (Confesercenti); League of Liguria Cooperatives (Legacoop Liguria); Italian Confederation of Cooperatives (Confcooperative).

Gal Genovese stands for “Local Action Group” and it works as Development Agency in the whole territory surrounding the city of Genoa (Metropolitan Area). It began its transnational experience within Leader itself, working with other Lags throughout Europe (France, Ireland as first).  The transnational experience was really very important and it helped very much to improve the quality of the projects, exchanging methods and know how.  The cooperation was so crucial and decisive that the Lags defined to turn cooperation into a strategy and not only to consider it as an opportunity of financial resource. The idea behind it was to consider the local development strategy of the Lag (a complex and integrated system of actions extending over several years) as the pillar for the Gal’s activities through the years and transnational cooperation became instrument to address specific topics to be studied with a wider perspective, learning from other experiences or working together on common needs.

We mainly work to local development and sustainable growth in collaboration with public and private local bodies, by using participatory methods. Leader has always encouraged processes of participation locally in order to make people engaged into the decisions of their future and to get them more and more involved. Gal Genovese is accustomed to this “bottom-up” method: conforming to it, we set up the local strategy (SSL) for the period 2014-2020 for the development of the territories we take care of. The SSL  “Quality&Development” has been planned by interviewing the citizens, paying attention to their need and listening to the ideas and suggestions as well as the politicians and the administrators. Normally every local development plan period has been included measures to create or maintain job opportunities in the mountain areas or to improve services and quality of life.

During the years we have sometimes proposed activities for young people (family care) to meet, group together and share experiences: for instance, a baby parking created thanks to Leader (2000 -2007) has become an important meeting place for teenagers and it was considered a good practice at European level. Moreover, we dealt with the organization of outdoor activities through the involvement of sports associations and young people and also we always encourage the discussion on local issues during the events that we organize. We have contacts with the schools of the territory and we want them to participate in our activities.

We also have experience in the key topics for the Alpine Space Programme, especially in accessibility, improvement in services and quality of life, environment and sustainability, sport and cultural tourism, cultural heritage in rural areas (Access, AlpWater, Pusemor, Qualima, Crafts 2007/13).   The added value of cooperation really was for local mountain communities a challenge: Mayors and stakeholders opened themselves to Europe and they learned new perspectives from the comparison with others and nevertheless they acquired more consciousness on their own potentialities.      

Over the past few years the GAL Genovese has extended the range of its activities to cover a variety of different areas and responsibilities and it has become an important point of reference for the initiatives of local cultural and volunteer bodies and associations. It takes part in the multilevel governance process as the result of a constant coordination across different territorial levels.

Marisa  Bacigalupo, eMail
Annalisa Cevasco, eMail



CIPRA International Lab GmbH

CIPRA Lab is the project development branch of CIPRA International, a NGO (100 member organizations) committed to the protection and sustainable development of the Alps. It is a transfer organization experienced in networking people, communication, knowledge transfer, participation and dissemination to stakeholders and politics. CIPRA has long term experience in participating and leading trans-national (EU funded and other) projects: PEMO (ABH); MountEE (IEE); Future in the Alps (MAVA); Alpstar (ASP); C3-Alps (ASP); SPARE (ASP); AlpES (ASP) etc.

CIPRA Lab is responsible for the WP Communication and for the internal communication of the project. It plays an active role in networking with policy-makers and young people as well as the dissemination of the results beyond and within the pilot areas.

Andreas Pichler, eMail
Michaela Hogenboom, eMail

aha – Jugendinformationszentrum Vorarlberg

aha is a Youth Information Centre which supports young people to put their ideas into practice and to seize all their opportunities by taking informed decisions. We would like young people to gain the knowledge and the self-confidence to be able to actively take part in society and to help shape it.
aha offers up-to-date information for young people between 13 and 26 (e. g. education, employment, travel, legal questions, etc). It also provides a Youth Card and a Reward System for young volunteers.
aha is active in EU programmes like Erasmus+ Youth in Action, coordinates the European Voluntary Service in the province of Vorarlberg and is partner in various local and international projects.
By means of information, counselling and lobbying, aha promotes the development of a culture of participation in municipalities and institutions.

aha is the Austrian partner in the GaYA project. aha supports the Work Package Leaders in all issues regarding content and organisation. It activates and fosters contacts to Austrian stakeholders.

Thomas  Müller, eMail
Monika Paterno, eMail



Within its research area “Institutional Innovation and Participatory Democracy”, the Institute for Comparative Federalism of Eurac Research pays close attention to issues such as how decisions are and can more effectively and democratically be taken in an interconnected world. Research projects investigate to what extent increasing trends, practices and methods of citizens' participation complement traditional decision-making processes. They also research the extent to which institutionalization of such instruments can be a tool to govern better. The institute offers consultancy activities to international organisations, regional/local governments and government delegations. From 2012-2014 it led the project “POP! Paths of Participation!” aiming at increasing the active participation of youth within the European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino. Since 2010, EURAC has worked on 85 projects financed by EU Programmes.

Eurac Research will lead WPT1 and supervise the research activities throughout the project. Given its expertise in the field of participatory democracy and institutional innovation, researchers will play an active role also during the training sessions offered to decision-makers.

Greta Klotz, eMail
Lucia Radici, eMail



Since 1995, the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC) supports the cooperation between protected area managements across the Alps in order to contribute to the preservation and sustainable development of their natural and cultural heritage. Besides the fields of action ecological connectivity and regional development, the ALPARC operational unit strongly engages in activities of mountain education in order to safeguard the link between Man, especially young people, and the natural mountain environment. More specifically, we coordinate an Alpine-wide working group of mountain education experts, lead European projects addressing youth and inform the growing network about mountain educational approaches and tools.

ALPARC is in charge of coordinating the implementation of participatory democracy approaches in the selected pilot sites via the local action plans (Workpackage 3). The network provides support for data collection and analysis on democracy and participation in the Alps, facilitates knowledge exchange and promotes youth participation in democracy especially in French pilot sites.

Letizia Arneodo, eMail
Dominik Cremer-Schulte, eMail

Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges

PNRMB supports a strong environmental education and youth sector and many activities like the Young Nature Guides ecovolunteering initiative. Many youth activities and pedagogical tools are developed within a formal covenant with the National Education Authority. The Park leads a network of 35 local education professionals, with a broad panel of competences. 64 municipalities, 11 local authorities, 2 Departments and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region are involved in the administration council of the park with their elected representatives. The park will have to update its Charta in 2019 and plans to include concrete youth governance measures in it. The park council as well as some park’s municipalities are foreseen as pilot sites within GaYA. We are an ALPARC member and involved in Alpine working group “mountain environmental education” at the initiative of actions like “Youth at the Top”. We are involved in several EU programs LEADER, ALCOTRA (as a LP), FEADER, FEDER, POIA, INTERREG.

During WPT1, as one of the two French partners, PNRMB will identify best practices and collect some French experiences of youth participation. For WPT2-T3, we will be responsible of a pilot site in a rural context, support and coordinate its activities.

Philippe Gamen, eMail
Julie Higel, eMail

Občina Idrija

The Municipality of Idrija is a small Alpine municipality in the Western Slovenia. Once a mercury mine with a global impact, today an UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO Global Geopark, a global leader in electro and automotive industry and regional leader in smart city developments, youth participation and heritage preservation. Idrija's Youth Strategy 2015-2020 was prepared alongside local youth and stresses main topics on which the municipality and youth organisations wish to act upon – employment opportunities, affordable housing and youth participation and inclusion. The municipality has been involved in several international youth projects (e.g. Youth Shaping Alpine Municipalities, Youth Alpine Express), as well as national initiatives (e.g. Youth Friendly Municipality).

Municipality of Idrija will have an active role in the coordination and execution of WP T2. It will try to motivate and educate policy/decision-makers to integrate participatory democratic approaches and the youth into their work routine.

Janja Hiti, eMail
Matevž Straus, eMail



Alpenstadt des Jahres e.V.

ASDJ is an association of towns that strongly identify with the objectives of the Alpine Convention, being also an observer to this international treaty. The currently 16 towns are working and exchanging together regularly. Youth governance policies can be promoted in all 16 alpine towns through this network. This will have an added value in the dissemination of the results, but also in collecting information, being the towns spread all over the Alps covering different legal and democratic systems, i.e. direct democracy in Switzerland. The Executive Secretariat is the connecting link between the towns, guaranteeing the high quality of the project implementation and the output. ASDJ took part in several EU-projects, e.g.: YSAM (proving grounds for youth participation), (balancing Alpine energy and nature protection) or Alpstar (with the goal to achieve climate neutrality in the Alps by 2050).

The role of ASDJ within the project is to activate its member towns and engage them in implementing and following project results and supports the PP in carrying out the planned contest and the initial research.

Claire Simon, eMail