The State of Hessen maintains intensive contacts with its partner regions. The goal of partnerships is to give regional interests greater weight on the European level and to better familiarize people living in the partner regions with one another. Regional partnerships also make a valuable contribution to regional networking and deepen European integration. What is more, they offer citizens a chance to learn more about the points of view in neighboring countries during joint projects. For example it is possible to use specific EU promotion programs which generally require the participation of project partners from several EU member countries.
Comprehensive cooperation between the partner regions
The State of Hessen cooperates with its partner regions in many political areas. This includes mutual visits of expert delegations as well as the participation of the partner regions in the “Hessentag” (Hessian state fair and festival), an ideal occasion to familiarize the many visitors with the respective regions through cultural performances and exhibitions.
The joint activities taking place within the framework of the “European Dialogue” contribute to deepening relations. Students from Aquitaine and Wielkopolska, for example, have actively contributed to the school project. With its annual LEAH award “Lebendiges Europa in Hessen” (Vibrant Europe in Hessen), the Ministry of European Affairs acknowledges Hessen’s best active European communal partnership within the “European Dialogue”.
In Brussels, Hessen worked with its partner regions Aquitaine, Emilia-Romagna and Wielkopolska in what is referred to as the “Multiregional House” under one and the same roof—a cooperation model which drew great attention in Brussels.
The State of Hessen maintains the following regional partnerships in the EU and Europe:
- Aquitaine (France): partnership founded on November 1, 1995
- Emilia-Romagna (Italy): partnership founded on July 29, 1992
- Wielkopolska (Poland): partnership founded on December 7, 2000
- Jaroslawl (Russian Federation): partnership founded on October 16, 1991 and renewed on September 27, 1999
- Bursa (Turkey): partnership founded on October 21, 2010