REPRESENTING OUR INTERESTS IN EUROPE Airport Regions Conference
Membership of the Airport Regions Conference has enabled Verband Region Rhein-Neckar to deepen the relationship between the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar and Frankfurt International Airport – ensuring that the region’s interests are included in development plans. This process of exchange and discussion with representatives of other European airport regions is vital for the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar because the Airport Regions Conference has a voice, e.g. in EU participation procedures. The platform discusses future developments in the aviation industry and related regional policy issues. For Verband Region Rhein-Neckar, cooperating in this strong network offers the opportunity to achieve significant benefits for the region.
CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION Franco-German-Swiss Conference of the Upper Rhine
The Southern Palatinate is part of the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar and also a mandated area of the Franco-German-Swiss Conference of the Upper Rhine (or Upper Rhine Conference). The institutional and legal framework for the cross-border cooperation between these three nations is an agreement between the Swiss Federal Council, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the French Republic concluded in Basel on 21 September 2000. The Upper Rhine Conference operates through twelve permanent working groups dedicated to the areas of the economy, health, transport, culture, young people, education, the environment, disaster relief, regional planning, sport, agriculture, and climate protection. In addition, it has expert committees that deal with current topics. Verband Region Rhein-Neckar contributes to the Upper Rhine Conference in the area of reducing border-related barriers to development in the southernmost part of the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar and incorporates ideas and stimuli from the Conference into its own work.
CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION EURODISTRICT REGIO PAMINA
The special purpose association EURODISTRICT REGIO PAMINA has been promoting, supporting and coordinating cross-border cooperation in the Baden-Alsatian-Southern Palatinate region at local and regional levels since 22 January 2013. Its aim is to improve the living and working conditions of the population. It has the following responsibilities:
- Joint regional development
- Information and advisory services for citizens, communication and public relations
- Preparation and supervision of cross-border projects as part of the EU support program INTERREG, in particular implementation of the PAMINA21 fund for small projects which promotes cross-border projects to encourage greater contact between citizens in the three regions.
- Tourist Information Service (Vis-à-Vis)
So far, around 180 cross-border projects involving partners from the Southern Palatinate region of the Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar have been realised with funding of around € 30 million from the EU INTERREG programme. These projects are dedicated to a variety of topics, in particular tourism and leisure, education and culture, business and the labour market. Verband Region Rhein-Neckar supports the EURODISTRICT REGIO PAMINA through an annual financial contribution and the provision of a member of staff.
CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION European Regions Research and Innovation Network
The European Regions Research and Innovation Network supports its members by developing their expertise in the field of research and innovation. To do this, it identifies existing projects or initiates new ones that have a chance of receiving EU funding. Simultaneously, the network advises on the strategic direction of activities to sharpen the profile of each project. The European Regions Research and Innovation Network is also committed to boosting the role of regions in developing EU research and innovation policy. Through its working groups on topics such as “energy and climate change”, “creative industries” or “transport and logistics”, it promotes knowledge transfer and networking between the participating regions. Verband Region Rhein-Neckar has been a member of the European Regions Research and Innovation Network since 2014.
EUROPEAN METROPOLITAN REGIONS IN GERMANY Initiative Group European Metropolitan Regions in Germany
Initiativkreis Europäische Metropolregionen in Deutschland (IKM) is the network of eleven European Metropolitan Regions in Germany which have been officially recognised by the Conference of Ministers for Regional Planning. As an advocacy group for the metropolitan regions, it formulates specific demands for consideration in German and European regional policy. In addition, the IKM works to bundle activities, acts as an exchange platform for building successful approaches to regional development, and operates as a hinge for European structural policy. Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar has been represented by Verband Region Rhein-Neckar in the IKM since May 2005. The Association Director of Verband Region Rhein-Neckar has been Deputy Spokesperson of the IKM since 2011.
CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION Interregional Alliance for the Rhine-Alpine Corridor
As the north-south axis for rail freight traffic, the Rhine-Alpine Corridor connects some of the strongest economic regions in Europe. The 1,300 km route from Rotterdam on the North Sea coast to Genoa on the shores of the Mediterranean also passes though densely populated areas and protected natural landscapes. Developing the infrastructure for this key transport artery is a complex task which, in addition to transport capacities, must take into account many other factors, such as noise protection and quality of life for around 70 million residents in the corridor in five countries. In April 2015, this transnational regional development task became the responsibility of the Interregional Alliance for the Rhine-Alpine Corridor. The joint work of the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation is based on the corridor development strategy agreed in the CODE 24 project. Verband Region Rhein-Neckar is one of the ten founding members of the European association and currently provides its Director. Today, the organisation has over 20 members from six countries.
METROPOLITAN REGIONS IN EUROPE Metropolitan Exchange - The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas
The Metropolitan Exchange (METREX) represents the interests of metropolitan regions at the European level. The international non-profit association has 50 member regions from 20 European countries. The Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar has been represented by Verband Region Rhein-Neckar in the organisation since June 2005. METREX was founded in 1996 to highlight the needs of metropolitan areas in European decision-making processes and acts as a consultant to the worlds of politics, business and science. In addition, METREX serves as a forum that enables experts from many fields to exchange knowledge and experience on questions of regional planning and development.
COOPERATION IN REGIONAL PLANNING Western Palatinate Planning Consortium
The Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar is closely linked to the Western Palatinate region both socio-economically and through its infrastructure. To reflect this, Verband Region Rhein-Neckar and the Western Palatinate Planning Consortium (Planungsgemeinschaft Westpfalz) concluded a cooperation agreement on 14 December 2011. It aims to coordinate regional planning and development projects in the respective regions as well as activities within the cooperation areas PAMINA and Upper Rhine. The signing of the December 2011 cooperation agreement was the first step towards achieving full cooperation between the two regions.
COOPERATION IN REGIONAL PLANNING Middle Upper Rhine Region
The Metropolitan Region Rhine-Neckar has close socio-economic and infrastructure links with the Middle Upper Rhine region, for example through its commuters. For planning authorities in both regions, this makes it essential to coordinate plans and concepts with regional significance, especially those between the Southern Palatinate, the Rhine-Neckar district and the Middle Upper Rhine. In March 2010, the Joint Committee of Verband Region Rhein-Neckar and Regionalverband Mittlerer Oberrhein (Regional Association of the Middle Upper Rhine) was formed. It brings together representatives from the respective planning committees and coordinates the planning and projects of the two associations.