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The federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern lies to the north-east of the Federal Republic of Germany and borders on Poland in the east, on Brandenburg in the south and on Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein in the west. In the north, the Baltic Sea forms a natural border along a length of almost 400 kilometres. The state capital and therefore the seat of government, administration and the state parliament is Schwerin.
"Best of Northern Germany" is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern‘s brand promise not by chance:the rich cultural heritage, unique nature and diverse cultural and leisure activities make up the special charm of this federal state. In addition, MV is an attractive industry and science centre. The region is home to two time-honored universities in Rostock and Greifswald as well as five modern universities of applied sciences. In addition to traditional branches of industry like agriculture and the food industry or tourism, the sectors of the future are increasingly establishing themselves in MV. There is a climate of innovation and entrepreneurship, above all in the fields of biotechnology and medical technology, information and communication technology as well as renewable energies. MV is also striving to become the "number one state in health" in the Federal Republic.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has had a state constitution since 1994. It regulates the form of government, fundamental rights and objectives, as well as the organization and functions of the state. In the preamble, the citizens of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern recognize their responsibility towards German history and towards future generations. Also to be found here, among other things, is the commitment "to create a socially just community" and "to promote the economic progress of all". In addition to the fundamental rights as stated in the state constitution, the fundamental rights of the German constitution are incorporated - i.e., the fundamental rights of the German constitution apply directly as constitutional law in the federal states.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is governed by a coalition consisting of the SPD and the CDU. It was formed as a result of the election for the state parliament on 4th September 2016. The state’s premier is Manuela Schwesig (SPD). The state premier is elected by the state parliament, which in turn receives its mandate from the citizens following democratic elections. The seat of the state parliament is in Schwerin Castle. In accordance with Article 20 of the state constitution, it understands itself to be a place of political decision-making.
The state parliemant also fulfils two other tasks: It deliberates and passes laws that are introduced either by the government, by at least four members of the state parliament or by popular initiative or petition directly by the people - in other words, it has legislative powers. A third important task of the state parliament is the control of the state government. To this end, it has, among other things, a comprehensive right to ask questions and request information.
If problems cannot be solved amicably and attempts at arbitration fail, the assistance of the courts often remains the last resort. There are five jurisdictions for different fields of activity: the ordinary courts, the administrative courts, the financial courts, the labour courts and the social courts. In addition, the state constitutional court is located in MV which is a constitutional body like the state parliament or the state government. Citizens can turn to it if they see their basic rights impaired by laws, administrative acts or also court rulings.
The State Prosecutor’s Office is an independent judicial authority. Its main task is law enforcement. The organs that administer justice also include lawyers and notaries with their law associations.
The surface area of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is over 23,000 square kilometres. Over 1.6 million people live here. Around a fifth of them belong to one of the Christian churches. Mecklenburg’s Catholics are affiliated to the archdiocese of Hamburg; the Catholics in Vorpommern, on the other hand, are affiliated to the archdiocese of Berlin.
The Jewish religious communities have been experiencing an influx since the 1990s. In September 2004 a synagogue for up to 200 visitors was consecrated in Rostock. Today there are almost 600 parishioners in Rostock. 760 Jews live in Schwerin. In December 2008, 70 years after the old synagogue was destroyed, a new synagogue was consecrated in its original location on the Schlachtermarkt.
There are currently four mosques in the larger cities – Schwerin, Rostock, Wismar and Greifswald. Islamic cultural centres are established in Schwerin, Neubrandenburg and Greifswald.