Launched in 1991, with the support of the Mountain Intergroup at the European Parliament, the AEM - brings together elected representatives from the local to the European level. It furthermore gathers the local and regional authorities themselves, as well as their umbrella organizations.  Thus directly and indirectly, AEM counts members from 12 000 local authorities, 100 districts and 50 regions among 11 Member States.

AEM carries out a continuous work to increase the European institutions’ awareness of issues regarding mountain areas and promotes an integrated and relevant approach of thematic  and cross-cutting policies, such as Regional and Cohesion policy,  Agriculture,  Environment, Transport, Energy, Research and Innovation, Services of general interest and  ICT.

The objective is better alignment and coordination of EU policies and their territorial impact, in order to take the characteristics of mountain territories into appropriate consideration.

AEM launches mountain policy initiatives at the European level, gathers and disseminates opinions on mountain issues and addresses mountain specific questions in European projects.  It furthermore manages the executive secretariat of the EU-parliament Intergroup  “Mountains, Islands and Sparsely Populated Regions”.

Role in the project

The Association des Elus de la Montagne (AEM) – European Association of Elected representatives from Mountain Regions - is the partner in charge of the dissemination and awareness - raising phase of the Big Foot project.Indeed, the Association counts more than 12000 local authorities, which share similar constraints, and which can benefit from the Intergenerational approach developed in the Big Foot Project.

Although AEM will not implement experimentation within the project, it will have an important role in monitoring, evaluating, suggesting corrective actions and spreading the ongoing Big Foot achievements. As a wide network, AEM will also provide the partnership with important skills for interacting in large and diverse groups, while sharing common values. This complementarity of individual and collective goals will be reflected in a framework of competencies that acknowledges both individuals’ autonomous development and their interaction with others.