A delegation led by Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, is paying a three-day visit (July 12-14, 2018) to France from Thursday by invitation of the Mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the twinning between the two cities. Tschentscher will visit various projects in Marseilles and be the guest of honour at events on France’s national holiday this Saturday. Gaudin is expected to pay a return visit to Hamburg in September.
Plans for closer co-operation
The trip includes a tour of the ONE LIFE biotechnology platform and the Euroméditerranée district, an urban development project with many similarities to Hamburg’s HafenCity and that combines the use of future architecture and idle facilities in ports. The itinerary also foresees a meeting with young people at the French-German Youth Office. An amendment to the co-operation agreement from 2008 is to be signed Friday at a reception to mark the anniversary. The supplemented agreement foresees closer co-operation in education and youth exchange, business and culture.
Background to Hamburg-Marseilles partnership
The town twinning between Hamburg and Marseille dates back to 1958. The twinning agreement was signed before the 1963 Elysée Treaty – the French-German treaty of friendship – and was considered a major step towards bilateral co-operation between countries that had been enemies until then. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the partnership, which goes back to the mayors Gaston Deferre and Max Brauer, who signed the “partnership oath”. The cities committed themselves to “mutual understanding, brotherhood and co-operation”. The original agreement was renewed and substantiated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2008.
Meanwhile, the twinning agreed informally between the two mayors has reached other echelons and is not limited to politics. Now, many personal friendships exist among people in both cities. Yet their harbours remain the biggest common denominator. Today, the partnership also includes co-operation in terms of their ports and urban planning i.e. traffic and the impact on commerce for which both Hamburg and Marseilles have similar visions.
Sources and further information: