Slovenia's location at the junction of the Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the Mediterranean allows it to participate in three of the four existing macro-regional strategies of the EU: for the Alpine, Danube, and Adriatic and Ionian regions. For thousands of yeas, Slovenia's territory has been the meeting point of different cultural influences and traditions. Economic connections and historical links with the broader region represent an advantage and an opportunity for the country.
In macro-regional strategies, Slovenia participates as a whole; state institutions and local communities alike engage in them. A comprehensive approach encompassing different stakeholders is a guarantee of positive cooperation and direct contacts between the local and national levels, contributing to focused action, efficiency, and results.
The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region will bring added value to the Alpine Convention, building on its established structure and extensive know-how and experience. The Strategy marks a stepping-stone on the way to the all-round development, growth and prosperity of the participants.
The cooperation between Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland, their regions, local communities, international institutions, civil society and non-governmental organisations may unlock limitless potential for each participating country or region and the Alpine area as a whole by facilitating further development, innovation, sustainable mobility, growth, and prosperity. The most promising European economic region, the Alpine area also has the responsibility to respond to the current challenges and issues facing Europe and the world – many of the solutions and answers will depend on its ability to cooperate closely.
I am honoured and proud that Slovenia was the first to be entrusted with chairing the Alpine macro-region in 2016 and with organising, together with the European Commission, a launch conference bringing together all the decisive actors that can contribute to a better life for us all. In our common endeavours to this end, we will build on lessons learned, synergies and close cooperation, which is open to everyone in the Alpine region. We have our differences, but together we are able to achieve a lot. In doing so, it is important that we follow the leading principle of the plenary session of the launch conference, in which foreign ministers and EU commissioners will participate – 'Diverse in unity of EUSALP'.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Karl Erjavec
at the launch conference of the EU Strategy of the Alpine region, Brdo pri Kranju, 25 January 2015