On May 13, 2016, the way was paved for Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania’s capital, Schwerin, and the district of Parchim to become part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, and Erwin Sellerin, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania discussed on May 19th the perspectives and advantages for collaboration.
Scholz said in a speech: “Today, the Hamburg Metropolitan Region with Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is one of the big, dynamic economic regions in Europe and a rising centre of knowledge. We are banking on co-operation between science and commerce and the appropriate boost to innovation and technology beyond the state borders.” Extending the co-operating region would lead to increased global visibility, he stressed. And in terms of globality, the bloc – together with the Copenhagen region and even parts of the Baltic Sea – has long since been seen as a single economic area. Scholz noted: “Size is important to perception on a global scale. The number of consumers, professionals, research institutes, innovative firms and clusters play a key role.”
Resolution in states
Scholz highlighted the existing collaborations in commerce, aviation, science and tourism and praised the positive interim results. “Outward visibility, inner networking, bringing together innovative companies and research institutes, a joint strategy for professional staff and extending the infrastructure: our joint metropolitan region is well placed in a global world.”
The steering committee of the metropolitan region agreed on May 13 to a new administrative agreement for regional co-operation thus paving the way for a resolution in the states and municipalities. The agreement will take effect when parliaments in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holsteing and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg have amended the underlying state agreement. Communal political forums in the districts, counties and district-free cities must also agree and the entire process is likely to last six months.
Region as big as Belgium
The extended Hamburg Metropolitan Region will consist of 17 districts and counties, three district-free cities as well as the city of Hamburg. The region will thus grow from 26,100 to 28,500 square metres making the Hamburg Metropolitan Region almost as big as Belgium. The population would add 180,000 people bringing it to a total of 5.2 million inhabitants.