The Swiss government needs to act Together for an Alpine Crossing Exchange
At a joint press conference with the Transport Minister of the Austrian province of Tyrol, the Swiss Alpine Initiative asked for the introduction of a trans-Alpine transport management scheme such as the Alpine Crossing Exchange.
The Alpine Initiative is not alone in demanding the introduction of an Alpine Crossing Exchange or a similar system. The same request is being made by other Alpine regions in Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland affected by transit traffic. Professor Bernhard Tilg, ÖVP, Member of the Provincial Government of Tyrol, for example, travelled to Switzerland to present his region’s point of view at press conference organised by the Alpine Initiative.
“The Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) ultimately needs to acknowledge these requests and make them the starting point of negotiations with the EU”, Fabio Pedrina, President of the Alpine Initiative, said in Bern. He went on to explain that Switzerland has rolled out an “iron carpet” for the EU in the form of base tunnels under the Gotthard and Lötschberg passes.
Alf Arnold, Director of the Alpine Initiative, thinks that the Swiss government has an obligation towards the Swiss population to deliver. “In 1999, the population accepted the land transport agreement with the EU, believing the assurances of the government”, he said. The government’s statement on the bilateral agreements with the EU said: “The land transport agreement enables Switzerland to achieve the desired transfer of goods transport from road to rail.”
For the government to negotiate freely with the EU, parliament is to change article 6 of the Traffic Transfer Act. The provision stipulating that an Alpine Crossing Exchange must be coordinated with other countries needs to be deleted. This is the only way for Switzerland to prevent the EU from blocking negotiations.
For the Tyrolean Minister of Transport and Health, Bernhard Tilg, the Alpine Crossing Exchange is one way of realizing a trans-Alpine transport management system. “The Alpine area is a unique and particularly sensitive ecosystem. We therefore need forward-looking and innovative solutions that enable us to reconcile the mobility needs of people and industry with the protection of Alpine habitats”, he said. As stated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Rome in 2009, he sees the Alpine Crossing Exchange as a possible means of managing traffic in the Brenner corridor.
Speech by Alf Arnold, Director of the Alpine Initiative (pdf) (in German)
Speech by Fabio Pedrina, President of the Alpine Initiative (pdf) (in German)
Presentation by Professor Bernhard Tilg, Member of the Government of Tyrol (pdf) (in German)
From the left: Fabio Pedrina, Bernhard Tilg, Alf Arnold. Photo: Yoshiko Kusano/Alpine Initiative
→ Alf Arnold, Director of the Alpine Initiative, +41 79 711 57 13
→ Fabio Pedrina, President of the Alpine Initiative, +41 79 249 29 42
→ Bernhard Tilg, Transport Minister of Tyrol, +43 512 508 2083