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

2.4.2. The Standing Committee 
The Standing Committee is the executive body of the Alpine Convention 31 . The 
representatives of the contracting parties forming the Standing Committee meet at least 
once a year 32 in order to collect and analyse submitted information and to prepare the 
Alpine Conferences. It is the Standing Committee which appoints working groups for 
formulating new protocols and recommendations and which coordinates their activities. 
Finally, it examines and harmonizes the contents of draft protocols and submits these 
proposals to the Alpine Conference. As regards chairmanship and voting procedures, 
the same rules as described for the Alpine Conference apply. 
Compared to other international environmental agreements, the Standing Committee 
has one deficiency that has been criticised by several authors 33 : it is not entitled to 
decide itself on substantial matters. Therefore, no important decision can be taken 
between the only biannually organised Alpine Conferences. "These two-year intervals 
of the Conference meetings may contravene the continuity of implementation and 
leaving all decisions to the ministerial Conference may result in an exposure to political 
influence and arbitrariness." 34 
2.4.3. The Permanent Secretariat 
The Permanent Secretariat is the only organ of the Alpine Convention which was not 
established by the founding Convention itself. The Alpine Conference was given the 
competence to "decide unanimously to set up a permanent secretariat" 35 . After several 
years of hesitation, the 7 th Alpine Conference in November 2002 finally used this power 
31 Article 8(1) AC. 
32 Article 2(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Standing Committee, available at: http://www.alpcon 
33 See supra, note 16. p.27. as well as W. Anreiter, The Effectiveness of International Agreements and 
the Implications for the Alps Convention, Working Paper 172. School of Planning. Oxford Brookes 
University. Oxford 1997. p.40 and p.46. 
34 See supra, note 16. p.27. 
35 Article 9 AC.


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