European Law


The European Union is a contracting party of the Alpine Convention. The European Union ratified the following Protocols: Mountain farming, Tourism, Energy, Soil conservation, Transport and the Additional Protocol for Monaco. In this way, these protocols are now part of European Law.


Legally binding acts

Regulations: the most direct form of EU law - as soon as they are passed, they have binding legal force throughout every Member State, on a par with national laws. National governments do not have to take action themselves to implement EU regulations.[1]

Directives: EU directives lay down certain end results that must be achieved in every Member State. National authorities have to adapt their laws to meet these goals, but are free to decide how to do so. Directives may concern one or more Member States, or all of them.[2]

Decisions: Decisions are EU laws relating to specific cases. They can come from the EU Council (sometimes jointly with the European Parliament) or the Commission. They can require authorities and individuals in Member States either do something or stop doing something, and can also confer rights on them.[3]


Non legally binding acts




Other instruments





▪ EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

The Strategy complements the activities of the EU member states, it aims at promoting coordination and information sharing between member states and ensuring that adaptation considerations are addressed in all relevant EU policies.

  • Nordic Centre for Spatial Development Studies

Analysis of mountain areas in EU member States, acceding and other European countries

Nordic Centre for Spatial Development Study of January 2004

  • Advocate General opinions

Use of the word "mountains" as references in meat products and use of geographical indications and designations of origin

Opinion of Advocate General Jacobs of 24 October 1996

  • Commission staff working documents

New insights into mountain farming in the EU

Commission staff working document of 16 December 200

  • Court of Auditors reports

Application of 31 December 1980 of Council Directive 75/268/EEC on mountain and hill

farming and farming in certain less-favoured areas

Court of Auditors special report of 31 December 1980 (page 1 to 30)

New strategy for mountain regions

Report of 16 October 1998, by Giacomo Santini (A4-0368/98)

Alpine Arc - an apportunity for development and integration

European Economic and Social Committee Opinion of 25 April 1996 (96/C 204/24)

Future outlook for agriculture in areas with special handicaps (upland, island and outlying areas)

European Economic and Social Committee Opinion of 12 December 2007 (2008/C 120/11)

Policy for upland agriculture in Europe

Committee of the Regions Opinion of 18 September 1997 (97/C 379/12)

Future of pheripheral areas in the EU

Committee of the Regions Opinion of 13 October 1998 (98/C 315/04)

For a Green Paper - Towards a EU policy for upland regions: a European vision for upland regions

Committee of the Regions own-initiative opinion of 19 June 2008 (2008/C 257/07)

European strategy for the economic and social development of mountain regions, islands and sparcely populated areas

European Parliament resolution of 22 September 2010 (P7_TA(2010)0341)

Situation and outlook for hill and mountain farming

European Parliament Resolution of 23 September 2008

Structurally disadvantaged regions (islands, mountain regions, regions with low population density) in the context of cohesion policy and their instiutional prospects

European Parliament Resolution of 16 February 2006 (P5_TA(2003)0360)

25 years' application of Community legislation for hill and mountain farming

European Parliament Resolution of 6 September 2001 (2000/2222 (INI))

Avalanche disasters in the Alps

European Parliament Resolution of 11 March 1999

New strategy for mountain, less-favoured and environmentally sensitive regions

European Parliament Resolution of 23 October 1998

Poor snow conditions in winter sports resorts in Europe

European Parliament Resolution of 17 May 1990

Special community measures to revive agriculture and forestry in the mountain and Dolomite

area of the region of Veneto, through the recovery of land subject to hydrogeological


European Parliament Resolution of 15 December 1983

Application on Council directive 75/268/EEC on mountain and hill farming and farming in

certain less-favoured areas

European Parliament Resolution of 12 September 1983