Alpine Space Transnational Governance of Active and Healthy Ageing

Multilevel transnational governance to promote innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing in the Alpine Space



Christian Böhler


Rahel Kahlert, Leonard Geyer, Veronica Sandu


Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy)


With an increasingly ageing population, especially in the mountain areas, regions of the Alpine Space are adopting policies supporting active and healthy ageing (AHA). Ideally, the demographic challenge should be tackled by all public sectors with coordinated support actions and policies that should be tailored to the territorial context (mountain/rural/urban areas). In reality, however, the topic is often managed entirely by healthcare and welfare authorities, which limits the perspective of active ageing to the health and independent living domains and neglects cultural, economic, social aspects which also actively involve the elderly. In addition, there is little vertical and horizontal coordination and collaboration with social business and innovation actors in the regions to assess the quality and efficiency of current initiatives and policies, and to favour the exchange of experiences and opportunities to develop new coordinated actions.


The overall objective of ASTAHG was the development and implementation of policies dedicated to Active and Healthy Ageing in the Alpine Space, by improving capacities and coordinating efforts between different sectors and at different levels, and to respond with tailored initiatives to alpine territorial needs.The strategic objectives of the project were to:

  • improve governance capacities related to regional AHA policies as well as coordination of activities across sectors with a strong geographic focus;
  • foster the transfer of innovation and initiatives for AHA across the Alpine Space;
  • develop a social innovation framework for generating and adopting innovation for AHA involving both public and private actors.


To this aim, the ASTAHG project:

  • Established a transnational governance board engaging policy makers and influencers in the Alpine Space to develop a network and foster the exchange of common policies;
  • Developed a portfolio of good practices in AHA governance, based upon the analysis of current models, with possible pathways to integrate them;
  • Established an AHA innovation observatory, classifying initiatives and solutions with context and efficacy indicators;
  • Developed a framework for AHA innovation, based on the Quadruple Helix model, to improve collaboration of public actors, research & innovation, social business actors and citizens;
  • Aligned results and efforts with EUSALP to enhance the level of transnational governance throughout the Alpine Space.

The transnational dimension favoured lesson learning among geographically similar contexts and fostered international public/private partnerships for AHA innovation.

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