The OECD-STRING partnership

In today’s connected world, new infrastructure and digital innovation are fundamentally changing the way people work, consume, communicate and move around. Regions and cities are increasingly joining forces with their neighbours in a new, larger scale of economic geography, where they can serve as gateways to global markets and leverage green technologies to improve public health and support more sustainable growth.

Within this rapidly changing landscape, cities such as Oslo, Gothenburg, Malmö, Copenhagen and Hamburg are relatively small when considered individually at a global scale. However, when connected to each other and to their surrounding territories through the STRING region, covering the area between Hamburg and Oslo, they can reach a critical mass of around 12.8 million people.

The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link harbours unprecedented potential to bolster the development of a strong, global megaregion. The STRING region offers high quality of life and has a good potential to exploit its combined pool of knowledge and infrastructure to grow into a cross-border powerhouse. To reap this potential, the members forming STRING need to define a clear vision, a shared identity and an actionable strategy as a global megaregion.

The partnership between the OECD and STRING seeks to connect the dots in the STRING region by taking policy dialogue to the next level through action-oriented cooperation. The aim of the partnership is to pave the way towards the vision of STRING to become a megaregion in Northern Europe, globally acknowledged as a Green Hub and a leading implementer of sustainable infrastructure to combat climate change while improving the lives of our citizens.

STRING’s partnership with OECD will result into a Strategic Paper, including concrete policy recommendations for the national, regional and local governments in the corridor between Oslo and Hamburg, to achieve the vision of establishing a megaregion. To help chart the way the partnership entails a series of activities to build collective ownership from an early stage. 

The OECD-STRING partnership was initiated with a kick-off event on February 28th, 2020, bringing together policy makers from all levels of governance from the four STRING-countries, representatives from the Permanent Delegations to the OECD and high-level OECD representatives participated. The purpose of the kick-off was to provide essential input to the OECD on how they can frame an action plan and produce a tangible Strategic Paper.

A series of four seminars will soon be carried out in all four STRING countries – one in each country. The purpose of the national seminars is to test drive the opportunities and challenges identified during the kick-off event in all four countries, tailor these to have relevance in each STRING country, and build inclusiveness amongst wider stakeholders. The outcome of the debates at the national seminars will feed into the OECD Strategic Paper, which sets out concrete policy recommendations, including a plan for short and long-term actions in the STRING region.

The OECD Strategic Paper will be launched jointly by high-level representatives from both the OECD, STRING and national governments and will focus on how to actively work with and implement the policy recommendations set by the OECD.