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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern pursues its interests at a federal level and in Europe through its involvement in the work of the Bundesrat (the upper house of the German parliament), its representative office in Berlin and the region’s information office at the European Union (EU) in Brussels. Beyond this, the region collaborates in the aim of realising European integration within the limits of its competence and through promoting cross-border co-operation, particularly in the Baltic region.
The growing together of Europe is noticeable for the inhabitants of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on a daily basis because the effects of a growing number of EU decisions, for example on economic policy, the environment or equal opportunities, directly affect people here. This is now referred to as European domestic policy.
In order to be able to pursue and secure Mecklenburg-Vorpommern‘s interests it is necessary to be informed of EU projects and to assess them at an early stage. The region set up its information office in Brussels in 1991 for this reason. It is part of the European and Foreign Affairs department in Schwerin’s state chancellery. Its work is therefore oriented towards the tasks of the regional government. It is a point of contact for districts and local authorities, companies, education and research facilities and other organisations as well as the citizens of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern can influence decisions which are taken at federal and EU level through its involvement in democratic bodies, above all the Bundesrat. The region’s representative office in Berlin acts as an "ambassador" for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern at a federal level. It is a centre of attraction for representatives from politics, industry, science and culture as well as interested citizens from Germany and abroad.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern profits from Germany’s membership of the EU in many ways. The region is being supported by the European Union from 2014 to 2020 with 2.3 billion euros of European funding. This is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Numerous projects have been launched and considerable improvements in infrastructure in the areas of industry, social affairs and culture have been achieved.
The Baltic Sea Area has been the main focus of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s international activities since it was founded as a region in 1990. The aim is to assist with development of the economy and culture in the Baltic Sea Area by liaising between East and West and also acting as a gateway to the North. Meanwhile, a network has developed here which encompasses all levels and areas of collaboration and includes a whole series of associations and institutions in addition to the regional government. The main elements of this network are the regional partnerships which are founded on the basis of historical ties and geographical proximity.
Amongst others, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern works with the provinces of West Pomerania (Stettin) and Pomerania (Danzig) in Poland, with the Leningrader area of the Russian Federation, the region of Southwest Finland, the Dutch provinces of Groningen, Drente and Friesland and also the southern Swedish province of Skåne. The region also has a partnership with Mecklenburg County in North Carolina (USA) which is based on historical connections.