About STRING

STRING is a geographical area and a political member organisation in Northern Europe. We connect cities and regions to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and implement integrated policies to deliver on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities. Representing some of the world’s most innovative cities and regions, STRING has a unique opportunity to lead the way towards a sustainable future.

Our common vision, as outlined in the 2030 Strategy, is to create a megaregion because there is strength in numbers. Simply put, we are stronger together. To achieve this, we strive to be a globally acknowledged Green Hub and a leading implementer of sustainable infrastructure to combat climate change while improving the lives of our citizens.

Why a megaregion?

Increasingly, the most productive way to look at modern urban life is to focus on much larger units of territory, comprising of vast stretches of land and water with collective populations – so called megaregions.

Our member cities and regions know this. As individuals, they are considered relatively small on a global scale. However, combined and connected to each other through the STRING region and the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, they reach a geographical area that encompasses approximately 12.8 million people.

Working as one megaregion instead of individual entities means that we can mitigate some of the drawbacks that traditionally come with large cities, such as traffic congestion, air pollution, soaring house prices and social inequalities.  Simply put, we are stronger together. This can however only be achieved by improving transport connectivity, which in turn will increase the labour force for the member cities and strengthen each member’s economic and social connections to wider geographical areas. On the global stage “megaregions” offer members increased international visibility and bolsters their position for investment and new business opportunities.

As a region that is continuously growing in terms of populations and employment, the STRING region has a strong potential to develop into a megaregion. We however need a clear vision of what to collectively achieve as a megaregion.

With an emphasis on innovative cross-border working combined with pioneering green technological solutions, we aim to brand our megaregion as a “Green Hub”. Creating an environment for investors who wish to promote and produce green hardware.

Fueled by an increased global demand for environment technologies, the market for green investment will only continue to grow. Together with our members, STRING endeavors to become the frontrunner in green technological solutions that a nation state cannot achieve on its own. We want to create a sort of European green Silicon Valley – fostering an environment where investors bring their means and talented people come to work, and develop green technologies to address the modern urban challenges of today.

 

Members

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Hamburg is a City State and a service institution for its citizens. This means having the responsibility for business development, international and regional cooperation’s, culture, tourism, infrastructure and public transport, housing, education, police and fire services, financial affairs and citizen’s information. Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city with around 1.8 million inhabitants. For further information, please click HERE. 

Land Schleswig-Holstein

Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost German state, and the administration is responsible for coordinating activities and work to do with regional development and international cooperation, such as culture and tourism. The state government of Schleswig-Holstein has ministries for Energy, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitalization; Social Affairs, Health, Youth, Family and Senior Citizens; Ministry of Justice, European Affairs, Consumer Protection and Equality; Education, Science and Cultural Affairs; the Interior, Rural Areas and Integration; Economic Affairs, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism and Finance, and therefore overall responsibility for these fields. For further information, please click HERE.

The Capital Region of Denmark

The primary responsibility of the Capital Region is healthcare. This includes the responsibility for hospitals and psychiatric hospital departments, pre-hospital emergency services, general practitioners and practising specialist doctors. The region also operates a number of specialised social care institutions in agreement with local municipalities. The Capital Region of Denmark is also responsible for regional development within the areas of public transport/mobility, education, culture and environment (soil contamination, groundwater protection and raw materials planning). For further information, please click HERE.

Region Zealand

The Danish Region Zealand is the southernmost administrative region of Denmark, and safeguards tasks, services and interests for a total of 820.000 citizens. The wide range of services is spread out across 22 cities in the Region. Region Zealand performs two main tasks: Regional development and an operational enterprise in the area of healthcare and social affairs. Region Zealand’s vision is to create the best framework for sustainable growth and quality of life for its citizens. For further information, click HERE.

City of Copenhagen

The City of Copenhagen is responsible for ensuring that the city – both now and in the future – is a sustainable, green and good place to live and visit, with a high quality of life for people of all ages, housing for everyone and a healthy environment. The city has the goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Lowering transport emissions by increasing cycling infrastructure and green mobility with integrated metro lines and railway systems and by replacing buses with electric ones are just a few examples of how the city is contributing to a more sustainable future and improved health of citizens. For further information, please click HERE.

City of Malmö

Malmö is the growth center of southern Sweden offering access to 3.9 million regional consumers, as well as acting as a gateway to Scandinavia. Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and one of the fastest growing metropolitan centres in the country.  Malmö is an international city with a young population; almost half of the inhabitants are under 35 years of age, representing 186 nationalities. Malmö aspires to be a sustainable city – socially, economically and environmentally. Businesses, researchers, local people and the city authorities are working closely together to reduce health-related inequality, especially among children and youth. For further information, please click HERE.

Region Skåne

Region Skåne has the overall regional responsibility for healthcare and public transport in the Swedish county of Skåne (covering cities such as Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg), and is also responsible for coordinating activities and work to do with regional development and international cooperation. This includes issues concerning infrastructure planning, business development, cultural activities, environmental and strategic planning work, and interregional cooperation’s. For further information, click HERE.

Region Halland

Halland is a region on the west coast of southern Sweden that offers beautiful nature comprising beaches, forest and lakes. Halland may be small in terms of size, but it is big in terms of growth. Region Halland is responsible for providing a good healthcare service to everyone who lives or spends time in Halland. They also work actively within a number of other areas that affect how it is to live and work in Halland, such as trade and industry, culture and infrastructure – working to create the best place to live. For further information, please click HERE.

Västra Götalandsregionen

One of Västra Götalandregionen’s main missions is to ensure that the population in Västra Götaland has access to good medical care. Region Västra Götaland aim to provide conditions for a good and healthy life and to develop and administer culture, public transport, growth and sustainable development. Region Västra Götaland is an active member of different regional organisations and networks in Europe, as well as the sub-regional level around the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and in south-western Scandinavia. For further information, please click HERE.

City of Gothenburg

The City of Gothenburg has been a hub for global trade since the 1700s. Openness to the world still characterises today’s diversified trade and industry. The Gothenburg metropolitan region is home to multinational companies, small entrepreneurs and clusters boasting the kind of competences in demand in the global markets. The city is currently undergoing rapid development, generated by substantial investments in research and product development. At the same time, plans are being made for billions in investments in infrastructure and construction. For further information, please click HERE.

City of Oslo

The City of Oslo is the Capital of Norway. In 2019, the European Commission awarded Oslo the prestigious European Green Capital title. The vision for Oslo is to make it a smarter, greener, more inclusive and creative city for all citizens – a smart city that innovates with the citizens’ interests and well-being at the core. For further information, please click HERE

Viken County

Since January 1st 2020, Østfold, Akershus and Buskerud have formed a completely new country council known as Viken. This restructuring was a part of a local and regional government reform to transfer functions from central government to the new county councils, bringing them closer to the population. Viken Country Council has a total of 1.2 million residents, making it the most populated county in Norway. For further information, please click HERE.

 

 

Our history

The name STRING “Southbaltic Transport Regions Implementing New Geography” was born out of an Interreg acronym, and was formed in 1999 to stimulate cooperation between Denmark and Germany by establishing a new fixed link. In 2008, the two countries signed a State Treaty, agreeing to the development of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link.

In light of this, the cooperation between the STRING members changed towards promoting regional development, along with further infrastructure projects and green growth in the region, stretching from Scandinavia to Hamburg.

In the last two years, we have seen five new members join our organisation.

Today, we stretch from Hamburg to Oslo, consisting of 12 members across seven regions and five major cities in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Organisation

STRING facilitates five platforms to unite member cities and regions:

  1. The Political Forum is the most senior level of decision-making in STRING. They meet three times a year to propose the priority areas and political agenda for the oranisation.
  2. The Steering Group consists of high-level representatives from the member regions. Together with the Secretariat, they meet up to four times a year to decide the operational approach STRING will take with its priority areas.
  3. The Contact Group is the daily point of contact for members. The group is staffed by civil servants appointed as STRING representatives. They are appointed by the member regions and have responsibility for preparing agenda items for the Steering Group and keep the day-to-day contact with the Secretariat on administrational issues.
  4. The STRING Secretariat comprises of seven staff members overseen by a Managing Director. They are the permanent body within the organisation responsible for the implementation of the priority areas, and lobbies at all levels of government to promote the benefits of our work. They also bring together the public, private and academic sectors to feed into our work and share their knowledge. Contact the STRING Secretariat here. 
  5. Working Groups have been establised by STRING. They research, develop and promote new cross-border infrastructure and green growth ideas for the regions.

The String Organisation

People

 

Members

The Political Forum

Tommy Petersen (RV)

Member of the Copenhagen City Council, City of Copenhagen

Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim (SP)

Vice Mayor for Climate and enviroment, Viken County Council

Vegar Andersen (AP)

Political adviser to the Vice Mayor for Business Development and Ownership, City of Oslo

Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (A)

Chairman of the Regional Council, The Capital Region of Denmark

Jens Mandrup (SF)

Member of the Regional Council and Chairman of the Regional Council Committee for Traffic, The Capital Region of Denmark

Kristina Jonäng (C)

Member of the Regional Executive Board, Västra Götalandsregionen

Bijan Zainali (S)

Second Chair of the Regional Development Committee, Västra Götalandsregionen

Almut Möller (SPD)

State Secretary and Plenipotentiary to the Federation, the European Union and for Foregin Affairs, The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Carl Johan Sonesson (M)

First Governor of Region Skåne

Dr. Louise Eklund (L)

Deputy Chair of Regional Development Committee (MP), Region Skåne

Yvonne Augustin (S)

Second Deputy of the Regional Development Committee, Region Skåne

Dr. Sabine Sütterlin-Waack (CDU)

Minister of Justice, European Affairs, Consumer Protection and Equality of Land Schleswig-Holstein

Helene Andersson (C)

Chair of the Regional Growth Committee, Region Halland

Per Stané Persson (S)

Second Vice Chair of the Regional Growth Committee, Region Halland

Evan Lynnerup (V)

Member of the Regional Council, Region Zealand

Andreas Schönström (S)

Municipality Commissioner for Technology and Services, City of Malmö

Axel Josefson (M)

Mayor and Chair of the City Executive Council, City of Gothenburg

Karin Pleijel (MP)

Deputy Mayor and Member of the City Executive Council, City of Gothenburg

The Steering Group

Jeppe Grønholt-Pedersen

Head of Division, The Finance Department, City of Copenhagen

Diana Arsovic Nielsen

Director of Regional Development, The Capital Region of Denmark

 

Kåre Albrechtsen

Head of Unit, Mobility and Education, The Capital Region of Denmark

Charlotta Lundström

Head of External Relations, Västra Götalandsregionen

Maria Korner-Westin

Head of Unit EU and International Relations, Region Skåne

Stefan Musiolik

Head of Unit “Baltic Sea Affairs”, Ministry of Justice, European Affairs, Consumer Protection and Equality of Land Schleswig-Holstein

Ulrika Bertilsson

Head of Analysis, Region Halland

Gørill Elisabeth Brodahl

Head of International Affairs, Viken County Council

Vibeke Grønvall Kristensen

Head of Secretariat at the Center for Regional Development, The Capital Region of Denmark.

Carsten Krabbe

Director of Regional Development, Region Zealand

David Jens Meinke

Development Manager, Regional Development, Region Zealand

Micael Nord

Buisness Director, City of Malmö

Erna Ansnes

Head of International Office, City of Oslo

Magnus Sigfusson

Director of City Development, City Hall, City of Gothenburg

The Contact Group

Jarl Zinn

Senior Consultant, The Finance Department, City of Copenhagen.

Eva Christina Jacobsen

Consultant at Centre for Regional Development, The Capital Region of Denmark

Charlotte Beijer

Policy Advisor, Västra Götalandsregionen

Laura Frick

Head of Baltic Affairs Desk, The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Elin Malm

Development Strategist, Region Skåne

Lars Ekberg

Policy Advisor, City Hall, City of Gothenburg

 

Marthe Hoddevik Jensen

Senior Advisor, International Office, City of Oslo

Kenneth Ekberg

Senior Advisor, City of Malmö

Monica Magnussen

Consultant, Region Zealand

René Lønnee

Chief Advisor, Region Zealand

Rune Bakkevoll

Special Advisor, International Relations, Viken County Council

Ulrika Bertilsson

Head of Analysis, Region Halland

Susanne Grahl

Advisor, Ministry of Justice, European Affairs, Consumer Protection and Equality of Land Schleswig-Holstein

The Secretariat

Thomas Becker

Managing Director

thbec@stringnetwork.org

+45 2961 7010

Rebecca Rosenquist Elliott

Deputy Managing Director

aarr@stringnetwork.org

+45 2494 3887

Marianne Dige Svenningsen

Public Affairs Manager

msven@stringnetwork.org

+45 2114 0395

Sunniva Ottersen Bærug

Communications Officer

sunb@stringnetwork.org

+45 2587 0108

Stella Bücker

Project Coordinator

stbuc@stringnetwork.org

+45 9357 0125

Sven Fechner

Press & Communication

svtf@stringnetwork.org

+45 9357 6281