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Convention on the Protection of the Alps

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Convention on the Protection of the Alps

The purpose of the Alpine Convention is to protect the Alps by applying the principles of prevention, polluter-pays and cooperation.


Council Decision 96/191/EC of 26 February 1996 concerning the conclusion of the Convention on the Protection of the Alps (Alpine Convention).


The aim of this Convention is the long-term protection of the natural ecosystem of the Alps and sustainable development in the area, as well as the protection of residents' economic interests. The guiding principles of the Convention are prevention, polluter-pays and trans-border cooperation.

The Parties to the Convention are Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland and the European Community.

In order to fulfil their objective effectively, the Parties to the Convention act in the areas of regional planning, the conservation of nature and the countryside, mountain farming, mountain forests, soil conservation, tourism and recreation, energy, transport, prevention of air pollution, water management, population and culture, and waste management.

The Convention provides for the drawing up and adoption of application protocols for each of these areas as well as for resolving disputes between the Parties.

The Parties are obliged to cooperate in the fields of research and regional monitoring as well as on legal, scientific, economic and technical matters.

A Conference of the Contracting Parties ("the Alpine Conference") holds regular meetings (in principle every two years) to look at issues of common interest for the Contracting Parties and to make decisions and recommendations.

The Convention entered into force for the European Community on 4 April 1998.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 96/191/EC



OJ L 61 of 12.3.1996


Council Decision 2006/516/EC of 27 June 2006 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol on Soil Protection, the Protocol on Energy and the Protocol on Tourism to the Alpine Convention [Official Journal L 201 of 25.7.2006].

Council Decision 2006/655/EC of 19 June 2006 on the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol on the implementation of the 1991 Alpine Convention in the field of mountain farming [Official Journal L 271 of 30.9.2006]. This Protocol establishes international measures aimed at ensuring and promoting mountain farming which suits local conditions and is compatible with the environment. It aims to make a long-term contribution to maintaining population and sustainable economic activities helping to produce typical quality produce, safeguard the natural environment, protect against natural risks, and conserve the beauty and the recreational value of the traditional countryside and cultural life.

Council Decision 2005/923/EC of 2 December 2005 on the signing on behalf of the European Community of the Protocol on Soil Protection, the Protocol on Energy and the Protocol on Tourism to the Alpine Convention [Official Journal L 337 of 22.12.2005]. The Protocol on Soil Protection contains measures focusing, amongst other things, on the designation of protected areas, areas at risk or threatened by erosion, the economical and prudent use of soils and raw materials, and certain activities such as agriculture, forestry and tourism.

The Protocol on Energy focuses mainly on the use of certain types of energy such as renewables, hydroelectricity and fossil fuels, on transport and energy distribution, and on the restoration of sites following public or private works.

The provisions of the Protocol on Tourism primarily concern tourism management and controlling tourist flows, structural developments such as ski lifts and ski slopes, accommodation and the balanced development of economically weak areas.

Commission declarations have been annexed to the Decision, in particular concerning questions of interpretation and the compatibility with the Treaties of some provisions in the Protocols.

Commission Decision 2004/69/EC of 22 December 2003 adopting, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC, the list of sites of Community importance for the Alpine biogeographical region [Official Journal L 14 of 21.1.2004]. As part of the Natura 2000 Network and to protect biodiversity through the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora in the Member States, the Commission, in agreement with the Member States concerned, has drawn up a list of sites of Community importance for the Alpine biogeographical region.

Council Decision 98/118/EC of 16 December 1997 concerning the conclusion of the Protocol of Accession of the Principality of Monaco to the Convention on the Protection of the Alps [Official Journal L 33 of 7.2.1998].

Last updated: 10.11.2006