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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern pursues its interests at a federal level and in Europe through its involvement in the work of the Federal Council (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 to the inhabitants of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on a daily basis, because an increasing number of EU decisions, for example on policies regarding the economy, the environment or gender equality, directly affect the citizens here. The term "European domestic policy" has begun to establish itself.
In order to pursue and safeguard the interests of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it is necessary to inform about EU projects at an early stage and to evaluate them. That is why the state set up the information office in Brussels in 1991. It is part of the European and Foreign Affairs department of the State Chancellery in Schwerin. Its work is thus oriented towards the tasks of the state government. It is a point of contact for districts and municipalities, companies, educational and research institutions and other organisations as well as the citizens of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Decisions taken at federal and EU level can be influenced by the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern through its participation in democratic bodies, in particular the Federal Council. The region's representative office in Berlin acts as an "embassy" for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern at a federal level. It is an attraction for representatives from politics, business, science and culture as well as interested citizens from Germany and abroad.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern benefits in many ways from Germany's EU membership. The state will receive 2.3 billion euros in funding from the European Union from 2014 to 2020. These come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). They go towards launching numerous projects and achieving significant improvements in the economic, social and cultural infrastructure.
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 Leningrad 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) based on historical connections.