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 mountaineers.
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Europe has stunning mountain ranges that offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. In the summer, rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking are popular activities, while winter is the season for skiing and snowboarding.
The European mountains offer breathtaking natural landscapes that attract many visitors and are home to a wide range of plants and animals. To preserve this unique natural heritage, the EU has established the ‘Natura 2000’ network of protected areas that allow for the coexistence of wildlife and human activities. Moreover, the EU and eight countries are parties to the Alpine Convention, an international treaty for the sustainable development and protection of the Alps.
For a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience in the mountains, you need the right equipment, from suitable clothing to skis and snowboards or climbing ropes and harnesses. Thanks to the EU internal market, you have a wide choice, as equipment that is available in one EU country can be sold in all the others as well. Under EU law, defective products must be repaired or replaced free of charge within the legal guarantee period of two years.
Mountaineering equipment has to be safe – your life depends on it. EU rules require that personal protective equipment in the EU must bear the CE label to show that it conforms to safety standards. In order to be able to use mountain equipment, such as carabiners, safely and effectively, it is essential that you understand the instructions. That is why EU rules require that manuals be available in the language of the country where products are sold.
- Alpine Convention, www.alpconv.org
- European Commission website on Natura 2000, ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/natura2000/
- European Commission website on CE marking, https://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/ce-marking_en