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Skiers [What Europe does for you]

With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for skiers.

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Your ski holiday in Europe is becoming safer, more accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly, thanks to the EU. The EU strategy for the Alpine region helps protect the fragile Alpine ecosystem, to help avoid natural risks like avalanches. It also makes access to ski resorts easier and safer by supporting local transport and mobility projects. Skiers can now easily identify the resorts best suited to their financial and family requirements, thanks to a 2011 EU survey comparing ski resorts. When you take the ski lift, it’s also reassuring to know that they have to meet with EU legislation on the safety of cableways carrying persons.

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Ski resorts are improving their skiing infrastructure throughout the EU, from Slovenia and Slovakia to countries further south, such as Greece, thanks to EU structural funds. This means more EU citizens can ski safely and with modern infrastructure in their own countries, rather than having to travel abroad. New airports closer to the slopes (e.g. in the Scandinavian mountains) are also being constructed with EU funding.

Good snow conditions are a must for skiers. Research on snow production, such as a new snow-gun which uses 15 % less energy, produces 8 % more snow, and makes much less noise is being funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. Encouraging artificial snow production in more areas is of great importance to winter destinations that have seen less snow in recent years. To predict snow quantity from one week to several months ahead, another EU project aims to build a meteorological prediction system for the ski industry.

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