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REGION OF THE WEEK:

Berlin

(25 February 2013)

Berlin

Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn is hosting the first direct talks between the European Commission and the Mayors of EU's capital cities on 28 February in Brussels to discuss how to address urban challenges in an integrated way in the future Regional and Urban Policy 2014-20. Berlin, which will be represented by its Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit, is a role model in sustainable urban development with an approach taking into account the social, environmental and economic dimensions at the same time.  For this, Berlin has been awarded at the RegioStars 2013 for its neighbourhood management project ‘Quartiersmanagement Berlin’.

What are the region’s priorities?

Berlin is the Capital City of Germany as well as one of the 16 German regions (”Länder”). The Berlin Senate (regional government) has set a strategy for growth and employment in 2006. The priorities of the strategy are:

- Invest more in knowledge and Innovation

- Development of Small Medium-Sized Enterprises

- Job creation, especially in the area of social integration

The fields of action to put these priorities in practice are economy, knowledge, environment and sustainable urban development.

How has EU regional policy contributed?

For the 2007-2013 period, Berlin has been allocated EUR 875.6 million of EU financing with the Regional Operational Programme Berlin. The programme is in line with Berlin government’s priorities aiming at improving the international competitiveness of the city and its enterprises. EU investment will reinforce the capacity for innovation and adaptability and the productivity of private industry in Berlin, and thus create jobs. In addition, knowledge and creativity will be used as the engine for economic and social development. To ensure this happens, EU investment focusses on promoting the capacity for innovation and the knowledge-based economy. A further aim is to tap new potential through social integration and improvements to the environment.

As regards urban development, the specific potential of individual areas of the city will be singled out for development and strengthened in an integrated approach. To this extent, Berlin is  a role model for urban policy for the next period 2014-2020.

Project examples

Innovation Strategy “InnoBB”

The “Joint Innovation Strategy of the States of Berlin and Brandenburg (innoBB)” is one of the many initiatives Berlin took in cooperation with its neighbour region Brandenburg. It was adopted in 21 June 2011 and aims at developing the cutting-edge fields Life Sciences & Healthcare, Energy Technology, Mobility, Transport and Logistics, ICT, Media, Creative Industries and Photonics into cross-regional clusters. This initiative receives part of its financial support from EU regional policy investments. The priority of the innoBB strategy is to integrate the business sector and the science and research landscape of Berlin into the international, mainly European innovation community.


RegEnergy: Regions pool together for more sustainable energy solutions: EU contribution EUR 830,942

The provision of environmentally friendly and affordable heating is the twin goal of RegEnergy. The project brings together national, regional and municipal players in a Europe-wide network and works on improving the energy sector through local policy making and financial incentives to boost the efficient use of energy. RegEnergy helps European regions and communities to meet the rising demand for heating and cooling systems. By sharing experience gained on previous projects, these regions and communities are able to exploit innovative uses of renewable energy sources. 18 partners from 11 countries cooperated and looked at how innovation in the heat sector could be beneficial to regional development. The RegEnergy operation managed to successfully integrate the regional economic and social dimension of the sustainability concept.

Energy efficient renovation of the family centre and homeless project on Nostizstrasse: EU contribution EUR 509,571

 This project is one example of the Berlin Environmental Relief Programme which aims at improving the environmental situation in Berlin. It takes into account the social impact of the renovation works as well as the need to renovate in the sense of more energy efficiency.

The parish house of the parish of Heilig Kreuz-Passion in the Nostizstrasse was built in 1964/65 as a six-storey corner house with a hall. It is used as a family centre and a housing project for homeless and has a hospice character. In the heart of the district Kreuzberg, it transcends several barriers to bring people from many different backgrounds together, counteracting the exclusion of less well-off and disabled people and provides respite accommodation for ill and dying homeless people. The building and hall were completely refurbished to improve their energy performance. Also improvements including structural alterations in the basement, the replacement of the hygiene and kitchen were done by using the centres own resources.

Neighbourhood Management Berlin: EU contribution EUR 83 500 000

The socially disadvantaged areas of Berlin have suffered from a demonstrable neglect of public space as well as unemployment, dependence on state support and the issues arising from a lack of social and ethnic integration. The overriding aim of the project Neighbourhood Management Berlin is to change this situation and create neighbourhoods of solidarity with equal development. The key partners in the project are the local residents working in cooperation with the city’s Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, the local boroughs and the Neighbourhood Management Teams. A vital role is also played by local bodies such as housing societies, schools, businesses and community centers which provide valuable synergy. This project has just been awarded at the RegioStars 2013 in the category “CityStars”.

More information:

EU regional policy in Berlin
EU co-funded projects