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The GEMS project establishes a network of small Alpine towns, engaged in the definition of innovative solidarity models for local development, so to answer common challenges o the current European scenario.
The 5 small alpine towns which adhere to GEMS project (Werfenweng-A, Bad Reichenhall Kur-D, Bled-SI, Moena-IT, Forni di Sopra-IT), share local development strategies (economy based on sustainable tourism), and related challenges, caused by recent EU financial and social turmoil.
GEMS aims to establish a network of towns in transition towards a solidarity model for local development, in which
- the towns' specific developmental challenges, related to sustainable tourism, are faced within a "solidarity in times of crisis" perspective (i.e. civil society or private initiatives filling gaps in public funded interventions)
- new residents (e.g. immigrants, asylum seekers, etc) are perceived as an opportunity to overcome developmental challenges, rather than an obstacle, able to give a new boost to sustainable tourism
- citizens and local authorities debate around a common vision for the EU (development) future.
The project foresees
- 5 transnational events, in which a group of network experts (local authorities and civil society organizations) work with citizens from hosting communities (at least 70 locals per event, covering a wide range of stakeholders), so to identify "solidarity& integration mechanisms" that can boost local development, while generating the sense of belonging to a transnational community based on shared EU values (peace, mutual understanding, etc)
- activities of awareness raising on EU2020, policies and opportunities for participation, allowing citizens to analyze local experiences in an EU framework.
- produces a Network Solidarity&Integration Model-online catalogue (local best practices and network recommendations)
- establishes the Alpine Award for the most innovative Alpine "solidarity&integration initiatives"
- establishes the basis for future network cooperation- Friendship Agreement
- guarantees the transfer of grassroots solutions for local and network challenges, to EU institutions, by means of dissemination and lobby activities