October 15, 2018

Hessen fulfilling its European role

By Lucia Puttrich, Minister of European and Federal Affairs and Representative of the State of Hessen at the Federal Government.

Hessen is a federal state, which is located in the middle of Europe and at the same time, deeply rooted to Europe. Through the airport in Frankfurt, one of most significant air traffic hubs of the world, and a large number of transnational companies, Hessen is globally oriented unlike any other German federal state.

Our universities in Hessen and research institutes have an excellent international reputation and have a wide-reaching international (contact) network. The control centre of the European Space Agency (ESA) ,located in Darmstadt, makes us Europe’s doorstep into space. Finally, Frankfurt is also one of the most important financial centres on the European peninsula and hosts, in addition to the European Central Bank, several other financial institutions. The skyline of Frankfurt resembles that of an American metropole, therefore the city has received the nickname of ‘Mainhattan’.

On the picture from left Lucia Puttrich, Ursula Bouffier, wife of Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of Hesse, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Bouffier. Photography by Hessische Staatskanzlei.

Keeping this in mind, it becomes self-evident that the state government of Hessen has a strong interest to have our position in Europe voiced and understood. This is my responsibility, which I enjoy fulfilling on a European level in Brussel and on a national level in Berlin.

With a combination of federal and European affairs, important decisions are made significantly faster. A lot of decisions, which are being made in Brussels, have to be further translated into the national law. The Federal Council, as the representative of the federal states, play a crucial role in these affairs.

Foto Michael von Lingen.

Both representatives are an important showcase of Hessen in Brussel and Berlin. Delegates, representatives of companies and several other politically interested people enjoy coming to Hessen in order to network with us and each other.

In Brussel, we are working close with several other regions, namely, Emilia-Romaga, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Wielkopolska, since we believe that regions play a vital role in the development of the European Union. In this regard, the federal structure of Germany plays a significant role.

Minister Puttrich, Hessen.

Citizens from Hessen are closely related to their home, which stands out for its distinctive dialect and traditional dishes. Dishes such as ‘Handkäs’, ‘Grüne Soße’ and ‘Ebbelwoi’ are specialities that make the cuisine from Hessen remarkable. At the same time, we are dedicated Europeans and stand for a community based on similar norms and values. After two world wars, this community has provided the European continent with the longest phase of peace, freedom and wealth in its lengthy and ever-changing history. Neighbours and Enemies have turned into partners and friends. This united Europe can be regarded as a benchmark for several other regions in the world.

On the other hand, The European Union currently faces several challenges, of which the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union is just one. Never before, in the history of the union, has another country decided to leave.

Brexit will have significant effects on Hessen due to the international connections in economy and science within the federal state. Nevertheless, we also view this change as an opportunity to establish something new. The government of Hessen is working on providing this.

In a rapidly changing world we, as Europeans, have to face these upcoming tasks. I am convinced, that most of these tasks, such as the flow of migrants, can only be solved with partners outside of Europe. At the same time, I am also convinced that we will be able to do so.

As the Minister for the federal and European affairs of Hessen, I will provide my help in this.

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