About STRING

We are a political member organisation stretching from Hamburg to Oslo, with eight regions and five cities as members. Our vision 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 Investment 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 12.6 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 Investment 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.

 

Our history

STRING 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 13 members across eight regions and five major cities in Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Organisation

STRING has five levels of organisational structure:

  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

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 Divison, 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

Uwe Ram

Head of Department for International Cooperation, The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Maria Korner-Westin

Head of Unit EU and International Relations, Region Skåne

Thomas André Hansen

Head of International Affairs, Østfold County Council

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

Rune Bakkevoll

Chief Advisor International Relations, Akershus County Council

Øyvind Michelsen

Director of Regional Development, Akershus County Council

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

Thomas André Hansen

Head of International Affairs, Østfold County Council

Fredrik Nielsen

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

Chief Advisor, International Relations, Akershus 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

Communication 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

Lisanna Quintes

Political Advisor, lqu@stringnetwork.org, +45 9357 6276