Volltext: The Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention: Added Value to the Transport Policy of the European Community?

minority position 18 . Therefore, by ratifying the Alpine Convention in 1996, the 
European Community recognised a much narrower definition of the Alpine area 19 . 
The importance of the definition of the Alpine arc becomes evident in the context of 
intra-Alpine and trans-Alpine traffic, since these two crucial terms have been defined by 
Article 2 TP by reference to the definition of the Alps in the Alpine Convention. "Given 
that an international solution is needed to traffic problems for the Alps, [it] is necessary 
to give a precise and official geographical description of this region. The Alpine 
Convention contains such a description." 20 
2.4. Who is who? The institutional framework 
In order to guarantee the effectiveness and further development of the Alpine 
Convention, it provides, in its Articles 5 to 9, for the creation of three organs: the Alpine 
Conference 21 , the Standing Committee and the Permanent Secretariat. The two organs 
mentioned first were installed directly by the Convention, whereas the latter was set up 
by a separate decision in 2000. 
2.4.1. The Alpine Conference 
The Alpine Conference constitutes the highest organ of the Alpine Convention. 
Composed of the Environment Ministers or other empowered representatives of the 
contracting parties, it convenes every two years 22 . Additionally, the United Nations and 
its specialized agencies, the Council of Europe, all other European countries, cross- 
border associations of Alpine territorial authorities and relevant international non 
18 W. BÄTZING, Die Alpen. Geschichte und Zukunft einer europäischen Kulturlandschaft. 2 nd ed., Verlag 
C.H. Beck. Munich 2003. p.23. 
19 Immediately after having ratified the Alpine Convention, the European Social and Economic 
Committee applied the narrower definition of the Alpine area in its opinion The Alpine arc - an 
opportunity for development and integration. CES 548/96 (25 April 1996). 
20 Report of the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Policy. Transport and Tourism on the 
ecopoint system from 28 January 2003. A5-0019/2003 final (approved by the European Parliament on 12 
February 2003). p.9. 
21 The Alpine Convention uses the expression "Conference of Contracting Parties", but in literature, it is 
mostly called "Alpine Conference". 
22 Articles 5 to 7 AC.


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