3c/2019: Governance and Youth in the Alps


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 aims 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 are 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.

The Institute for Comparative Federalism is leading the Work Package 1 of the project (comparative analysis) and supervises 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 departs from a comparative analysis of democratic innovation and participatory democracy in the Alpine space. In order to effectively compare and foster the exchange of good practices and innovative decision-making methods, GaYA compares study policy-making methods at government, local and national level of all countries within the Alpine space. 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 Work Package 1 and 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 will be implemented in 14 pilot areas. The aim of this implementation phase is to go one step further in the concrete establishment of local participative processes including youth. Decision/policy-makers and local youth together will test and report the implementation of the actions selected from their own local action plan of participation.


  • 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

​Click here to go to the official homepage of GaYA!

Project output:

Comparative Report: Democratic Innovation and Participatory Democracy in the Alpine Area

Youth Participation Toolbox

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
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
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
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
Autonomous Province of Trento
European Region Tyrol-Trentino-South Tyrol
Gemeinde Salurn
Alpine Town of the Year Association
Agenzia di Sviluppo GAL Genovese
Autonomous Province of Bozen/Bolzano - South Tyrol
Bauges Massif Regional Nature Park
CIPRA International Lab
ALPARC - Le Réseau Alpin des Espaces Protégés
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety / Divison KI II 1 Strategic Aspects of International Cooperation, Regional Conventions, International Law
Federal State Administration of Vorarlberg, Department Youth & Familiy Affairs
Liguria Region
Municipality of Brig-Glis
Municipality of Idrija
University of Milan - Centre of Applied Studies for the Sustainable Management and Protection of Mountain Areas – GeSDiMont
Youth information centre Vorarlberg aha – Tipps & Infos für junge Leute
Project Team
1 - 8

Alice Meier

Team Member

Vera Ohnewein

Team Member


1 - 10

Winter School

6a/2021: Winter School on Federalism and Governance - Federalism and Local Self-Government

Duration: December 2008 - July 2021Funding:
Public institutions (Other projects /Project)

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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

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