The Alps-Adriatic Alliance (AAA) was founded on November 22nd 2013 in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee. Carinthia´s Governor Peter Kaiser was the founding president of the network. In 2018 the chair was handed over to Varaždin County represented by Prefect Radimir Čačić. The AAA represents a dynamic, flexible and low-threshold network-structure for project-oriented cooperation in the Alps-Adriatic and Pannonian area.

The 12 regular members are currently
– the Austrian regions: Burgenland, Carinthia, Styria,
– the Croatian counties: Istria, Karlovac, Krapina-Zagorje, Koprivnica Križevci
Međimurje, Primorje-Gorski kotar and Varaždin,
– Slovenia, represented by Skupnost Občin Slovenije (SOS) – the Association of Cities and Towns of Slovenia,
– and the Hungarian county Vas.

Core objective of the AAA is the comprehensive and efficient use of transnational EU-programs for the benefit of its members. Cooperation within the network is open to public authorities,
private organizations and NGOs. The AAA aims to close the gap between existing
transnational cooperation areas such as the Alpine-, Danube- and Adriatic-Ionian program-
areas. Of course, the AAA also allows the continuation of proven people-to-people projects.

The concrete project-oriented cooperation is carried out by so-called Thematic Coordination
Points (TCPs), which currently deal with the topics art and culture, economy, energy and environment, equal opportunities, Europe, healthcare, higher education, inclusion, rural development and cultural heritage, sports and tourism.

All regular members have established Alps-Adriatic-Contact Points which service interested
stakeholders. The Austrian of Carinthia also provides for the staff and infrastructure of the General Secretariat of the AAA.

The allocation of grants from the joint budget for new projects is the main task of the AAA-Steering Committee which consists of the coordinators of the TCPs, the heads of the Contact Points and the General Secretariat. Since its first meeting in March 2014 the Steering Committee has approved 240 new projects.

The Alps-Adriatic-Council consists of delegates from the political level. It meets biannually and is responsible for fundamental decisions and orientation. As stated above the Alps-Adriatic-Council is currently chaired by Varaždin County´s Prefect Radimir Čačić who initiated a strategy-development-process for the whole network. The result is the “SAA-2027”-strategy which is available to download right here.

Diversity for a Better Tomorrow

FOREWORD

I am very pleased to present with you the Strategy of the Alps – Adriaticgeographic area 2019 – 2027. This document provides solutions that are completely re-formulating the joint development of the Alps – Adriatic area by establishing one common goal, basic principle and implementation mechanisms. This will enable the Alps – Adriatic area to tackle joint development challenges and provide innovative solutions based on the stimulation of internal territorial potentials and mechanisms based on the diffusion of development from stronger centres to the entire geographic area.
The Strategy of the Alps – Adriatic geographic area 2019 – 2027 is oriented at all members of the Alps – Adriatic Alliance. It focuses on the strengths and makes use of the opportunities in order to level out development gaps and push the development of the geographic area forwards. Such approach allows for the exploitation of the potentials and insufficiently used resources.
The methodology used in order to create this Strategy will ensure greater consideration of specific needs and potentials of individual members inside the Alps Adriatic area. At the same time, it integrates the application of newest development trends and tools in the planning process. This enables improved quality and streamlining the achievement of set goals.
With this Strategy, AAA members have a solution that is tailored to their needs but it also respects the transnational features of development.
Adoption of this document crowns the one-year work effort of all AAA members. In the last 40 years of the Alps – Adriatic cooperation, states and regions have proved that cooperation and networking can only add to a better mutual understanding between people living so close to each other. Borders and walls could not prevent people from exchanging experience and learning from each other. In the following period, one of the goals should be a more intensive joint use of EU funds. This short analysis, which is based on the existing strategic
Strategy of the Alps-Adriatic geographic area 2019-2027 (SAA-2027)
2
documents, is only an orientation tool, a compass which will show us what direction we are heading to.
Therefore, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all those that contributed to the creation of this Strategy. I am sure that this Strategy will ensure a strong cooperation of all AAA members as regards to the achievement of ambitious goals set up in this strategy. As well, I am confident that the future will bring visible results to our joint efforts to strengthen the whole Alps – Adriatic area, ensuring this competitiveness and recognition not only on the EU level, but also on the global.
Radimir Čačić,
Chair of the Alps – Adriatic Council