Munich's European Policy
Influence in Brussels
Many decisions at local government level are influenced by the EU. Which is why Munich in turn seeks to exert its influence in Brussels and Strasbourg. The EU today influences as many as 80 percent of all local government decisions on areas as diverse as particulate matter, the energy-efficient modernization of old buildings and tendering procedures for public-sector orders. To ensure that as many decisions as possible align with Munich's best interests, the Bavarian capital is itself committed to lobbying activities in Brussels and Strasbourg. The more active the role played by the city, the more Munich can do to help shape the future of the EU!
The City of Munich's Annual Report on European Activities 2015 provides an exhaustive list and explanation of Munich's activities at European level in the course of 2014.
First chance to receive support form Bavaria's ERDF development fund
Starting in 2014, Munich will for the first time be able to apply for funds from Bavaria's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) program. The breakthrough was made by the successful European lobbying work undertaken by many people and departments at the City of Munich. In the past, ERDF was off limits for Munich. The Bavarian Government has decided that from the new EU funding period from 2014 on, the Munich planning region will be able to access the ERDF program within the framework of "Reducing CO² emissions in all areas of the economy".
As soon as the Free State of Bavaria and federal government have outlined their operational programs under the aegis of the ERDF, the program will be assessed to enable work on project development to begin.
Munich opposes a city-center toll
One example of these activities is the way the Bavarian capital clearly voiced its opposition to the possibility of a city-center toll being imposed. In a white paper on transport policy, the European Commission outlined how it wants transport policy to develop between now and 2050. City-center tolls were cited in this document as one possible way to reduce carbon emissions. Munich explicitly spoke out against a compulsory city-center toll. While it supports the goal of reducing carbon emissions, it would prefer to decide for itself what the best way is to achieve this goal.
Munich's European activities
European institutions tackle topical issues in different ways. Green papers, for example, are intended to stimulate discussion. White papers explain political strategies. Directives and ordinances constitute specific proposals for acts of law. Consultation is another channel, used by the EU to encourage the sharing of opinions. Together, these tools enable the EU to ensure a transparent legislative process with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. Munich seizes the opportunity afforded by these tools to wield its influence by submitting position papers. In many cases, the city also joins with other cities, airing its views via the agency of city networks in order to step up its influence.
Activities bundled at the Department of Labor and Economic Development
The City of Munich's European activities are coordinated by the European Affairs Team at the Department of Labor and Economic Development. The person to contact is Henriette Wägerle (firstname.lastname@example.org), who heads this team. In addition, each department also has its own dedicated European Affairs Officer. The first point of contact for all inquiries from residents, schoolchildren and students is the Europe Direct Information Center for Munich and Upper Bavaria. Munich benefits from a number of EU development programs which help with the implementation of many projects.
The Department of Arts and Culture is the place to go for information about EU-funded cultural development projects and projects for which Munich receives backing from the EU.
The Department of Education and Sports also provides a wealth of information about exchange opportunities for both schoolchildren and teachers.