MÜNSTERLAND/DÜSSELDORF. For 10 years now, the regions in NRW have been networking not only with each other, but also very closely with the state government and many partners. Together they develop concepts and successfully implement projects to meet the major challenges facing the state. This year, for the first time since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, the association regionen.NRW again invited to the big spring reception of the regions in the state parliament in Düsseldorf. On the evening of 18 April, around 200 stakeholders from politics, business and society met there and also discussed with Münsterland e.V. as one of the nine regional development organisations of the association.
Rainer Schmeltzer, Vice-President of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, welcomed the guests. "The regions in North Rhine-Westphalia show the diversity of our federal state. Regional differences make life on the Rhine and Ruhr special. For ten years now, the association regionen.NRW has succeeded in bringing these qualities together and thus bundling the strengths in North Rhine-Westphalia. I am pleased that we are coming together here in the Landtag, the heart of democracy, for the spring reception and that we are looking together at how viable, innovative and sustainable the regions of the state already are."
Minister Neubaur promotes renaissance of regional structural policy
In her keynote speech, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Mona Neubaur highlighted the importance of regional policy: "Our diversity is our strength. Because it produces the best ideas and makes us more resilient in challenging times like these. This is another reason why regional policy in North Rhine-Westphalia is currently undergoing a strategic reorientation. The representatives of 'regionen.NRW' are initiators and valuable advisors to our regional structural policy. They need and deserve tailored structural and regional policy support from the state, the federal government and the European Union. Especially when it comes to sustainability and climate protection."
Prof. Dr. Rainer Danielzyk, Secretary General of the ARL - Academy for Spatial Development in the Leibniz Association and Professor at Leibniz Universität Hannover, then presented approaches for future regional development strategies. The basis was the position paper "Shaping the future of the regions in NRW", which the NRW state working group of the ARL recently presented. He emphasised: "The widespread existence of regional development organisations in NRW is a great potential for regional development that no other federal state can boast. It offers the best conditions for finding regionally specific, integrative answers to the great challenges of our time."
Gallery of forward-looking projects
A digital gallery provided examples of such regionally specific and forward-looking responses. Under the title "On the trail of the future - 10 years of regionen.NRW", exemplary future-oriented projects of the individual regions were presented at the spring reception. In this way, the review of the last 10 years of the association was combined with a look into the future and showed how future-oriented, innovative and sustainable the regions already are. Münsterland e.V. also presented a selection of the best from the region, such as the Fraunhofer Research Manufacturing Battery Cell FFB facility.
"We want to promote the sovereignty of the regions. Our claim is to be a prime example of the level of performance in the state, in which we work on the mega-topics in a future-oriented, innovative and sustainable way. In doing so, it is particularly important for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and with the state government," emphasised the board members and managing directors of the regionen.NRW association at the event.
Klaus Ehling, Chairman of Münsterland e.V., added: "In the regionen.NRW network we benefit both from learning from each other and from dialogue with the state government at eye level. With its small and medium-sized economy and high quality of life, the Münsterland has a good basis for meeting the great challenges of our time. To this end, we organise innovative solutions with stakeholders from the region. The European structural funds are a great support here, which we would like to use even more intensively in the future."
After the impulses and presentations, the regions had an intensive exchange with the guests over beer and pretzels.
The regionen.NRW association has been in existence since 2013 and strengthens cooperation among the regions and consolidates strategic cooperation with the state government. The association comprises ten different regional management organisations: Region Aachen Zweckverband, Bergische Struktur- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH, Regionalmanagement Düsseldorf - Kreis Mettmann, Region Köln/ Bonn e.V., Münsterland e.V., Standort Niederrhein GmbH, OstWestfalenLippe GmbH, Regionalverband Ruhr, Südwestfalen Agentur GmbH and Zukunftsagentur Rheinisches Revier. The office is located at Münsterland e.V..
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