3c/2019: Governance and Youth in the Alps

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Young people tend to leave the Alpine space because they lack personal and professional fulfilment. Furthermore, a majority of decision-makers remain unaware of the benefits a young active population brings to society.

In cooperation with eight partners from all over the Alps GaYA aimed to increase the quality of democratic processes in the Alpine space by enhancing the involvement of young people in regional governance and by developing new approaches for decision makers.

Therefore, new democratic methods werde collected throughout the project and made available in order to overcome the challenges of territorial cohesion and participatory involvement of young people in everyday political actions. The implementation of innovative governance forms has great potential for increasing sustainable and fair decision making.

Our Institute for Comparative Federalism was leading the Work Package 1 of the project (comparative analysis) and supervised the research activities throughout the project. Given its expertise in the field of participatory democracy, the researchers of the Institute played an active role also during the training sessions offered to decision-makers in 12 pilot areas from September 2017 to March 2018.

The project departed from a comparative analysis of democratic innovation in the Alpine region. In order to effectively compare and foster the exchange of good practices and innovative decision-making methods, GaYA compared study policy-making methods at government, local and national level of all countries. Based on the findings of the comparative analysis, a set of trainings and workshops was conducted with the aim to educate, practice and motivate decision/policy-makers to use innovative democratic methods for involving youth in their agenda.

Based on the findings of the trainings and workshops in the local pilot areas, a Youth Participation Toolbox was created which provides insight the path to creating youth participation processes.

With the support of the toolkit and the local action plans, selected measures were then implemented in 14 pilot municipalitites. The aim of this implementation phase was to go one step further in the concrete establishment of local participative processes including youth. The final output of the project were Policy Recommendations and Practical Recommendations.


•    Strengthening innovative and participatory democracy
•    Involving youth in decision-making processes
•    Increasing national and transnational governance
•    Familiarise youth with complex policies

Project Partners:
•    Agenzia di Sviluppo GAL Genovese (Italy)
•    CIPRA International Lab GmbH (Austria)
•    Jugendinformationszentrum Vorarlberg aha – Tipps & Infos für junge Leute (Austria)
•    Eurac Research (Italy)
•    ALPARC – Alpine Network of Protected Areas (France)
•    Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges (France)
•    Municipality of Idrija (Slovenia)
•    Association “Alpine Town of the Year“ (Germany)

Total eligible costs: 1.092.748 EUR
ERDF grant: 928.836 EUR

Project outputs (see "publications" below):

  • Comparative Report: Democratic Innovation and Participatory Democracy in the Alpine Area
  • Youth Participation Toolbox
  • Policy Recommendations
  • ​​​​​​​Practical Recommendations

Jugendwerkstatt Salurn: Weshalb und Wie / Officina Giovani Salorno: Perché e come
Klotz G, Trettel M (2021)

Conference: Informelle Gemeinderatssitzung / Consiglio comunale informale | Salurn/Salorno | 17.8.2021 - 17.8.2021

Innovation démocratique et démocratie participative dans la région alpine: rapport comparatif
Trettel M, Valdesalici A, Alber E, Kress A, Meier A, Ohnewein V, Klotz G (2017)
Bolzano: Eurac research

Innovazione e partecipazione democratica nella regione alpina: report comparativo
Trettel M, Valdesalici A, Alber E, Kress A, Meier A, Ohnewein V, Klotz G (2017)
Bolzano: Eurac research

Demokraticne inovacije in participativna demokracija v alpskem prostoru: primerjalno porocilo
Trettel M, Valdesalici A, Alber E, Kress A, Meier A, Ohnewein V, Klotz G (2017)
Idrija: Obcina Idrija

Demokratische Innovation und partizipative Demokratie im Alpenraum: vergleichender Bericht
Trettel M, Valdesalici A, Alber E, Kress A, Meier A, Ohnewein V, Klotz G (2017)
Bozen: Eurac research

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