Cooperation is at the basis
Cooperation despite national and international competition: this is what the “Initiativkreis Europäische Metropolregionen in Deutschland” (IKM), to which all eleven European metropolitan regions in Germany belong, has stood for since 2001.
The IKM forms our strategic platform. Together we work to demonstrate the benefits of metropolitan-regional cooperation and to promote it. In the IKM, we exchange information about the work in the individual regions and generate projects that strengthen our metropolitan regions. In the IKM, we jointly formulate statements on current spatial planning and European issues.
Metropolitan Regions in Germany:
In 1995, the Ministerial Conference on Spatial Planning (MKRO) officially recognised the first European metropolitan regions in Germany, and further metropolitan regions were recognised in 2005; there are now eleven metropolitan regions of European significance. In them, cities and rural areas successfully work together on current and future challenges and jointly face international competition.
Metropolitan regions fulfil important functions: they are significant transport hubs and economic centres at European and global level, as well as strong centres of innovation and education. As motors of societal, economic, social and cultural development, they are intended to maintain the performance and competitiveness of Germany and Europe.
They also have important functions at regional level: through their regionally adapted governance structures and by involving business and science in their decision-making, they live a culture of cooperation that benefits the entire region across administrative boundaries and levels. The modern living environment does not always correspond to historical administrative boundaries. Metropolitan regions strengthen the necessary cooperation here and promote territorial cohesion.
Metropolitan regions initiate joint projects, for example in the areas of economic development, energy transition or transport, and have thus made an important contribution to securing Germany’s international competitiveness for over 20 years.
In the 2016 update of the guiding principles and action strategies for spatial development in Germany, the MKRO confirmed these functions and called for the continuation and deepening of the work at the metropolitan region level. The 2021 Federal Spatial Planning Report explicitly supports this approach by stating:
“The German metropolitan regions of European importance form the essential national economic areas of high performance and are in international competition. European and globally significant steering, control, gateway, innovation and competition functions as well as educational and scientific institutions are concentrated in them.”
Statements and position papers:
The IKM bundles the interests of the German metropolitan regions in statements and position papers on relevant topics:
(List of statements of the last 5 years – German language if not stated otherwise)
Partners und Cooperations:
The IKM works with the following partner organisations:
- Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBSR)
The BBSR is the relevant departmental research institution that supports the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Home Affairs (BMI) and other ministries with research and development services in these fields.
The IKM and the BBSR regularly exchange information on urban-rural issues and organise joint specialist events.
- Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building
The IKM maintains a regular exchange on current issues and projects with the Federal Ministry responsible for metropolitan regions.
- Initiative Metropolitan Border Regions (IMeG)
Members in the German sub-regions of the metropolitan border regions are four regional associations, one special-purpose association as well as Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. Representatives of the IMeG are regular guests at the meetings of the IKM.
- The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas (METREX)
At the European level, metropolitan regions have joined forces in METREX (The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas). It comprises over 50 members (metropolitan regions, metropolitan areas and areas) from all over Europe.
The following metropolitan regions from Germany are members: Berlin-Brandenburg, FrankfurtRhineMain, Hamburg, Middle Germany, Nuremberg, Rhineland, Rhine-Neckar and Stuttgart.