Because our partners around the world are so diverse, it would be impossible to design a “one size fits all” strategy for our international cooperation as a whole. Rather, it is vital that we adapt to the culture, expectations, and possibilities of our individual partners. Nevertheless, we would like to present a few general guidelines that shape our work.
One key aspect of what we pursue with our international contacts is an exchange of ideas and experience. By sharing “best practices” in urban development, traffic and transportation, infrastructure, environmental and climate protection, and administrative modernization, we can help each other to guide and enhance the development of our cities. As a youthful and attractive city, Berlin is in great demand with many cities around the world as a cooperation partner.
Along with cooperation on the political and administrative level, Berlin is especially interested in making sure that its population benefits in concrete ways from the city’s partnerships. To this end, contacts to civil society and between the people and their political representatives are supported and promoted. This applies in particular to cultural and sporting events, youth exchanges, and study abroad programs. Creating networks that include many different partners, institutions, and associations outside the state administration is absolutely necessary to making international cooperation a success.
It is also vital that contacts be established for the long term. Experience shows that consistent work on the program as a whole is more useful than initiating individual projects every once in a while.
Another point is the focus on clearly defined priorities. In the next few years, our work will be centered on business, science and academics, culture, climate, and integration. That, of course, does not rule out the possibility of international activity and cooperation in other areas. However, Berlin does not want to just export expertise; rather, it, too, would like to benefit from its international cooperation. That is why we are focusing on our own strengths in the areas described above. Tapping new opportunities abroad for Berlin companies and profiling Berlin’s strengths as a tourist destination are major goals of the work we do.