Cross-border cooperation in Germany's territorial development policy

October 2016

Cross-border cooperation in Germany's territorial development policy

With the recent approval by both the German Länder and the federal level of its "Guiding Principles", Germany is emphasising cross-border cooperation in its territorial development policy.

The document,* which was adopted on 9 March 2016 by the conference of German ministers responsible for territorial development, now takes account of the potential for European cross-border integration.

The diagram** relating to competitiveness along Germany's borders includes "border metropolitan regions" and "areas of enhanced metropolitan integration in border metropolitan regions". It is based on mapping by the IMeG*** and statistical work on cross-border functional urban areas.

The legislation on territorial development**** states that "the Bund and the Länder can, within the framework of the conference of ministers responsible for territorial development draw up guiding principles for territorial development in Germany and for contexts that go beyond the competence of the Länder". Moreover, the "Bund contributes, in cooperation with the Länder, to territorial cohesion policy in the EU and in the wider European region. The Bund and Länder cooperate closely on cross-border cooperation with neighbouring countries in the area of territorial development".

The legislation also states that the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) "manages an information system on territorial development in federal territory and adjacent areas. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure makes the information system's findings available to the Länder".

* "Leitbilder und Handlungsstrategien für die Raumentwicklung in Deutschland"
** See illustration on page 9 of the document or click here to download it.  
*** "Initiativkreis Metropolitane Grenzregionen" (Cross-Border Metropolitan Regions Initiative) set up in March 2011 in Berlin. 
**** "Raumordnungsgesetz, § 25 Zusammenarbeit von Bund und Ländern"

Read the editorial from Dr. Katharina Erdmenger, Head of Division, Deputy Director, European Territorial Cohesion Policy, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany
Read the article: "'"MORO' – pilot projects devoted to cross-border cooperation in Germany"

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