RESOLUTION 687 (1979)[1]

on European regional planning, and the role and function of Alpine regions

The Assembly,

1. Having taken note of the report of its Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities on European regional planning, the role and functions of Alpine regions (Doc. 4274) ;

2. Welcoming the excellent working relations which have been established between the Ministerial Conference and the Parliamentary Assembly, and particularly the consideration given by the Conference to the subjects proposed by the Assembly and the organisation of colloquies between the Ministers and members of the Assembly,

3. Welcomes any proposal to intensify such cooperation, especially at the level of the Committee of Senior Officials of the Conference of European Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT) and the Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities, as a means of facilitating the inclusion of political matters of concern to the parliamentary body in the deliberations of the ministerial conferences ;

4. Encourages its competent committee to contribute towards a stock-taking of the ten years of Council of Europe regional planning policy, which may be said to have originated in its own Recommendation 525, concerning regional planning as a European problem ;

5. Expresses its very special approval for the drawing up of a European Regional Planning Charter as proposed at the Vienna Ministerial Conference by the parliamentarians taking part in the colloquy with the Ministers ;

6. Emphasises the political and forward-looking character of such an instrument, which should provide guidance for national policy-makers, ensure that their efforts converge, and eventually lead to a full-scale European regional planning policy ;

7. Invites its Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities to collaborate closely with the various CEMAT bodies in drawing up this charter, which might be approved at the next European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning ;

8. Whereas the overall problem of European regional planning has been perceived progressively through the sectorial study of large geographical areas ;

9. Bearing in mind in this respect the role and function of Alpine regions, and recalling its Resolution 570 (1974), on the European functions of the Alpine regions, Resolution (74) 7 of the Committee of Ministers, on the economic and social problems of mountain regions, and Resolution No. 4 adopted in 1976 at Bari by the 3rd European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning,

10. Notes with satisfaction the results of the Conference of Alpine Regions, whose final declaration sums up all current problems in these regions, stressing in particular the dual role of the Alpine range as a living space for its inhabitants and a heritage for all Europeans ;

11. Notes the importance attributed to tourist activities, regarded as the "chief prospect of development", but also to mountain farming and the need to integrate this in a policy of regional planning, environmental protection and social and economic development for the Alpine regions ;

12. Agrees, however, with the Conference that tourism and agriculture cannot on their own provide enough jobs, and that there is a need to develop industry in a small number of suitable centres and encourage handicrafts throughout the Alpine range ;

13. Notes that the political leaders of the Alpine regions have themselves recognised the major hazards threatening the ecological balance of the Alps, and hopes that the principles formulated by the Lugano Conference may rapidly be implemented, particularly as regards forests and water resources, which implies that any new plans for building large hydro-electric works are today no longer compatible with ecological requirements ;

14. Invites national and regional representatives to proceed without delay to draw up inventories of Alpine zones in need of protection, and to establish the criteria necessary for the proper management and maintenance of protected areas, having special regard to the relevant classifications and recommendations adopted by the Council of Europe ;

15. Invites the states of the Alpine region to develop and promote inter-regional and transfrontier co-operation, and to share in the efforts of Alpine regions and municipalities to co-operate by setting up, where appropriate, special international commissions ;

16. Invites the regional and municipal authorities of the Alpine regions to follow the lead given by the bodies co-operating in the central and eastern areas of the Alps and to set up similar structures everywhere ;

17. Instructs its Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities :

a. to submit proposals, when examining the next Medium-Term Plan of the Council of Europe, with a view to studying certain aspects of regional development in the Alps ;

b. to promote Alpine co-operation, particularly by bringing about a meeting of the presidents and heads of the regional governments concerned, in order to organise such co-operation on a lasting basis and to favour the foundation of a "Council of Alpine Regions" to co-ordinate all the initiatives planned in this region as a whole ;

c. to study the means of enabling other mountain regions, above all the Pyrenees, to take advantage of the experience gained in the Alpine range ;

d. to take stock of this European regional concertation, inspired by a natural sense of solidarity, at a new conference of mountain regions which it might organise in the next three or four years.

[1]. Assembly debate on 30 January 1979 (21st Sitting) (see Doc. 4274, report of the Committee on Regional Planning and Local Authorities).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 30 January 1979 (21st Sitting).