Celebrations to mark the expansion of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region were held Monday (February 27th) in Hamburg City’s Hall and attended by Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, and the prime ministers of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Erwin Sellering, Stephan Weil of Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein’s Torsten Albig. A new co-operative agreement has also been signed with representatives of both chambers, the DGB Nord, UV Nord and the Lord Mayor of Schwerin. The greater region will add 19 communal and four state bodies, ten chambers as well as the North Business Association and the Federation of German Trade Unions. The City of Schwerin and district of Parchim will be added on March 1st, 2017.
Region as big as Belgium
Scholz, Weil, Sellering and Albig signed a new co-operative agreement during the ceremonies attended by around 300 guests and celebrated the new state contract regulating the funding by the four states. The co-operative agreement outlines the objectives, structure of work and financing the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
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 will add 180,000 people bringing it to a total of 5.2 million inhabitants.
Economic, technological and social development
The states of Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, administrative districts and independent cities in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region have been collaborating since the 1960s. Parts of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania joined in 2012. This year’s expansion has seen the inclusion of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Chamber of Crafts, UV Nord, DGB Nord as 12 economic and social partners as members to promote the economic, technological and social development of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
Speaking during Monday’s festivities, Scholz said: “The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is an aspiring centre of knowledge and one of Europe’s big, dynamic economic regions. Today, we have agreed to co-operate with even more partners. We are banking on collaboration between commerce, associations and research. Economic co-operation, promoting innovations and technologies and expanding the infrastructure have to be conceived in cross-border terms. We want to open up the clusters to all companies and research institutes in the metropolitan region. That is the only way of raising our outer visibility and the important interior networking.“
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