News Room

25 January

Sustainability in the regions - Interview with President Arno Kompatsher

The autonomous province of Bolzano-Alto Adige has always been careful to combine nature, landscape, environment, economy, social life and politics in the best possible way. Clearly, this is possible only if the citizens have the desire, respect and commitment to achieve this goal. On the one hand it requires financial efforts, on the other, sacrifices in terms of comfort which can be balanced by an efficient organisation. Think about the harmony between tourism and nature, thanks to innovative systems,the respect for nature does not exclusively mean sacrifices.

Sustainability is a forward-thinking concept, often beyond political legislatures. Thus, anyone who has decision-making power has to understand that sustainability is for the common good and that it has to be done regardless of any political orientation and beyond any advertising campaign. Finally, the more the results are visible in terms of ecological systems, nature protection and approved by the citizens and tourists, the more we are motivated to continue on this path.

What advice can you give to other regions that have less resources then Bolzano to become more sustainable?

Without giving any advice, I think that it is important to not only base the decisions on the available  resources. In Alto Adige/Suedtirol we are given a strict budget, but at the same time we also have to ensure the excellent functioning of our various public services, partly because of our autonomy, we have. We feel a great sence of responsibility to ensure that our public services are carried out in an exemplary way, and obviously it requires a great financial effort. To be sustainable you have to think in a sustainable way. Basically you have to act as if you have already achieved a high level of substainablility. Moreover, a high level of communication is essential, because without the approval of the citizens nothing can be done in the long-term. Finally, you need to be able to rely on an excellent network of cooperation with the so-called “triple helix”. In Alto Adige/Suedtirol the public sector, the private sector and the research sector together with all other stakeholders collaborate in an efficient way to achieve such an exemplar level of sustainability.

You are the Rapporteur of the opinion on sustainable EU food policy, what are your expectation for this text?

First of all, as a member of the Committee of the Regions’s I am convinced that this institution plays a very important role not only giving opinions on legislative proposals, but also in point out the lack of action by European Institutions, as in this case. This is a very sensitive subject because it concerns various stakeholders and it is obviously linked to strong economic interests, but it is essential in order to improve our future and our planet. Thus, I expect the Committee of the Regions to convince the European Institutions to act by using its opinion power. We need, to take practical actions, with a long and short-term strategy and vision, but also an action plan and a road map with specific deadlines. This would prove that there is truly a concrete interest to change something. And it is also for this reason that the end of November’s consultation relating to my working document has been a first step to better understand which are the needs of the various stakeholders potentially involved. Once the opinion will be adopted at the end of March 2017, I hope that the European Institutions will not hesitate to put in place what the Committee of the Regions has asked for a better future.

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Read 856 times Last modified on Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:45
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