The City of Örebro is being increasingly affected by legislation emanating from outside Sweden. Sweden’s membership of the EU means that a large part of the legislation controlling the City’s activities now comes from Europe.
In May 2013 the municipal council adopted an International Policy for Örebro municipality’s international work as a basis for the municipality’s work on international issues.
Each programme area is responsible for its international contacts. If you would like to know more about what is happening in a particular programme area, please get in touch with the relevant contact person.
Örebro has four Nordic twin towns: Drammen (Norway), Kolding (Denmark), Lappeenranta/Villmanstrand (Finland) and Stykkishólmur (Iceland). We also have twin town agreements with Lódz (Poland), Yantai (China) and Terrassa (Spain) and Pau (France).
There are also cooperation agreements at county level. Örebro has entered into these agreements with Lódz County in Poland and Novgorod County in Russia. Within the framework of the Novgorod county agreement many projects have been carried out in areas such as drug prevention, AIDS/HIV, technical aid for people with disabilities, culture, education, tourism etc.
The Nordic towns of Drammen , Kolding and Lappeenranta/Villmanstrand have been Örebro's twin towns since the 1950s. These towns therefore have a relatively long history of extensive contact with each other. This is not only at municipal authority level, but also among clubs, societies and the business sector.
The municipal leaders of the towns meet each other every two years to discuss different themes. The latest meeting took place in Drammen.
The council for clubs and societies (Örebro Föreningsråd) organizes regular meetings held at club level of representatives from the Nordic countries. Leaders of these clubs and societies meet every year. Young people from the clubs and societies meet every two years.
Örebro has twinned with four more cities in recent years: Lódz in Poland , Terrassa in Spain , Yantai in China and Pau in France. These partners are linked through formal cooperation/twinning agreements which place the main focus for the partnerships on the business sector, municipal departments, and clubs and societies. Örebro also has contacts with the city of Novgorod in Russia. The municipality does not have a formal twinning agreement with the city, but the county's agreement with Novgorod Oblast (the County of Novgorod ) has enabled several development projects to take place involving Örebro Municipality and other organizations in the county. These include projects on drug prevention, HIV/AIDS, tourism development, and technical aids and assistance for people with disabilities. At county level, Örebro has agreements with Lódz County in Poland, Novgorod County in Russia and Nograd County in Hungary.
Drammen - Norway
Population: 64 000
Administrative centre for the County of Buskerud
Transport and logistics centre
Drammen, on the River Drammenselven, 40 km south-west of Oslo, is also known as the City of Bridges. It is Norway´s largest port for the import of cars and citrus fruit. Major investment in environmental technology has led to the rehabilitation of the “Drammenselven", which is now one of Norway´s best salmon rivers. Kilometers of riverside parks have been restored and are the site of the annual River festival and the Dragon Boat Festival. Drammen celebrated its 200 anniversary in 2011. Drammen also arranges annual competitions as a part of World Cup cross-country skiing.
Read more about Drammen at www.drammen.kommune.no
Drammen Kommune Engene 1 NO-3008 Drammen Norway
Kari Lien Tel +47 32 04 60 73
Kolding - Denmark
Population: 87 000
Transport and logistics centre
Trade and tourism
Koldingis situated on Koldingfjord Bay in the south-eastern corner of the Jutland peninsula and is both a university city and a commercial centre. Great accessibility/availability through motorways, railways, a port and an international airport in Billund gives Kolding strategic significance as a centre of transport and trade.
Kolding is also an important congress and tourist city, with its beautifully restored 13th century royal castle (Koldinghus) and the Trapholt Modern Art and Design Museum as its main attractions. The municipality is also known for its successful effort in elderly care, its thriving business community and the city´s nearby beautiful scenery with forests, oceans and coasts.
Read more about Kolding at www.kolding.dk
Kolding Kommune International Section City Hall (Rådhuset) DK-6000 Kolding Denmark
Lena Rasmussen Tel + 45 79 79 20 16, fax + 45 79 79 20 33 email@example.com
Lappeenranta (Villmanstrand) - Finland
Population: 72 000
Centre of industry and technology
Lappeenranta is set amid picturesque surroundings by Lake Saimaa in south-east Finland , with boat connections to Viborg via the Saimaa Canal. It is a popular place for tourists and congresses, and has a large congress centre and first-rate hotels. Lappeenranta is also a university town with about 13 000 students.
Lappeenranta´s strategic location has made it the gateway to the east, with its border post at Nuijamaa and the canal port of Mustola 20 km from the Russian border. The city´s logistical location contributes to successful business operations/activities.
Read more about Lappeenranta at www.lappeenranta.fi
Lappeenranta City Council Kaupunginhallitus Postilokero 11
Stykkishólmur - Iceland
Population: 1 100
Centre for provincial management and healthcare
Climate and environment
Stykkishólmur is situated on the north-west coast of Icelandabout 220 km from Reykjavik. The fishing industry, including a scallop factory and shipyard, has played a historic role in the municipality but Stykkishólmur has in recent years primarily been noticed for their successful work with climate and environmental issues. The municipality was the first in Iceland to start recycling their waste and to receive the Blue Flag, an international environmental award for ports and cities.
Read more about Stykkishólmur at www.stykkisholmur.is
Stykkishólmsbaer Hafnargata 3 IS-340 Stykkishólmur Iceland
Arna Sædal Andrésdóttir (English-speaking) Tel. +354 438 1700, fax +354 438 1705 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lódz - Poland
Population: About 1 000 000
Trade, finance and IT
Universities, Art and Film Academies
Lódz is a vibrant economic and cultural centre in the heart of Poland. The textiles industry has played a major role in the history of the city, but today´s business sector has expanded to include printing, IT, food and other industries. Lódz is a regional centre for trade and banks, and economic development has been rapid.
Education and research are important issues in Lódz. Besides seven state universities and colleges of higher education, there are also five private colleges with university status. These include the Art Academy and Poland's film academy, the National Film, Television and Theatre School. Graduates of this school include Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieslowski.
Lódz County and Örebro also have a written agreement, signed in 2001. The county administrative board, the county council and the association of local authorities in Örebro County are behind the agreement. Both agreements are the result of the Swedish government's focus on Poland in 1999.
Read more about Lódz at www.lodz.pl
The City ofLódz Office04 Piotrkowska St. PL-90-926 Lódz Poland
Lidia Fazekas Leading Specialist
Promotion, Tourism and International Relations Office
City of Łódź Office
Terrassa - Spain
Population: 212 000
IT, communications, electronics
Terassa is located in Cataloniain northeastern Spain and have had a flourishing textile industry but todays growth is mostly in IT, communications and electronics. The municipality was one of the first to use the Internet as a channel for providing information and service to its citizens.
The city has made a major cultural investment by the local municipal project Terrassa Parc Audiovisual (an infrastructure project to attract TV, film and audio-visual companies). A newly launched film course supplements this project.
Terrassa has witnessed a very rapid rise in population, mainly during the middle of the 20th century. The city expanded from 40 000 inhabitants in the 1930s to about 160 000 in 1975 - an increase of 300 per cent. This was mainly due to migration from other Spanish regions, but immigration from north Africa has also played a part. Today more than 200 000 people live in Terrassa and the city´s population is rising by more than 5 000 per year.
Read more about Terassa at www.terrassa.org
Tel +34 93 736 30 25
Yantai - China
Population: about 6 000 000
Vineyards and fruit cultivation
Örebro and Yantai signed a twin town agreement in October 2002.
Yantai is in the province of Shandong, south-east of Beijing, by the Yellow Sea . It was one of the first economic free zones to be established in China and has been one of the most rapidly expanding areas in the country since 1996. Yantai is a centre for logistics, exhibitions and congresses, and prominent in the manufacture of and research into advanced technology, IT and food processing. The surrounding area is dominated by outstanding vineyards and fruit cultivation. Although the tourist industry is still in its infancy in Yantai, there are many kilometers of sandy beaches in and around the city.
For further information please contact
+46 19 21 15 32
Pau - France
Population: 84 000
University and research
Gateway to the Pyrenees
Örebro has a formal cooperation agreement with the city Pau in France since December 2008. In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the election of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte as the Swedish Crown Prince in 1810, Örebro and the city of Pau, where Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was born, set up a cooperation agreement. The purpose of the cooperation agreement is to enable and encourage contacts between Örebro and Pau, both at municipal level as between enterprises and organizations, public and private.
Pauis located in the southwest part of France and is like a gateway to the Pyrenees. Pau is also a university town that welcomes nearly 12 000 students each year. By offering around hundred different courses Pau is an important center for studies and research.
Read more about Pau on www.pau.fr
Ville de Pau Place Royale BP 1508 64036 PAU cedex Frankrike
For further information please contact
+46(0)19 21 15 32
Novgorod - Russia
Population: 220 000
Trade and tourism
Cooperation with Novgorod (both the city and the region) has gradually been developed since the county agreement was signed in 1994 between the County Governor of Örebro at the time, Sigvard Marjasin, and his opposite number in the Novgorod Oblast, Mr. Prusak. Two protocols (from 1999 and 2004) signed on behalf of the cities of Örebro and Novgorod express a will to cooperate in a number of specified areas. There is also a society for the Friends of Örebro-Novgorod.
The city is a commercial and tourism centre strategically located between Moscow and St. Petersburg in northwest of Russia.Novgorodis one of Russia´s oldest cities, founded in 859, with highly appreciated medieval monuments.
Read more about Novgorod at www.adm.nov.ru
NógrádCounty - Hungary
Population: 210 000
Örebro County Council and the County Agricultural Society have had an agreement with Nógrád Countyin Hungary since 2003. 2004 was declared a special Hungary Year (Svédületes). The counties and regions that have agreements with Hungarian special government-sponsored projects in both Sweden and Hungary.
Nógrád county is located in northern Hungaryand shares boarder with Slovakia. The county covers an area of 2544 km². Nógrád is famous for its historic architecture of ancient Gothic churches and stone castles dated back to the 13th century.
Read more about Nógrád at www.nograd.hu
RAN, radicalisation awareness network
In order to help the first-line local practitioners and to facilitate the exchange of experiences and best practices between them, the European Commission set up the EU-wide Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), officially launched on 9/9/2011 by Commissioner Malmström.
Contact person: Mats Brantsberg, +46 19 21 11 09, email@example.com
Örebro participates in several networks
One of these is the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC), in which the members' departments for Community planning are actively involved. Read more at www.ubc.net
Since 2005 Örebro is a member of Civitas Forum, a European network supported by the EU-commission. The aim of Civitas Forum is to act as a platform för Europe's most advanced cities in the field of urban transport.
Örebro is also part of the ECDC network (European Cities for Development and Co-operation) that was initiated by our Spanish twin town, Terrassa, and was formally launched in March 2005.
Social issues are monitored via the regional development council through membership in the European Network of Social Authorities (ENSA).
Örebro is also an active member of ECAD (European Cities Against Drugs) and chairs the national branch of the network.
For more info: www.ecad.net.
Contact person: Rasmus Persson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Sweden is the name of a collaborative venture established by the Swedish counties of Örebro, Dalarna and Gävleborg to deal with EU issues. It is also the name of the representative office that opened in Brussels 1998.
The authorities responsible for Central Sweden are the regional development councils or their equivalents in the three counties. Universities and other higher education institutions also participate in the Central Sweden project.
The Brussels office provides the organisation in Sweden with up-to-date information on the EU and EU programmes. It supplies guidance and support for project ideas and helps the counties to find business partners and other channels through which they can deal with a variety of issues. The office also markets the Central Sweden region in Europe. In addition, the office assists in organising study visits to EU institutions. Central Sweden monitors and represents our three counties in Brussels-based networks and organisations in conjunction with activities such as information and contact seminars. Central Sweden is an important two-way link for conveying knowledge and contacts between our own and other European municipalities, as well as EU institutions and other European networks.
Staff in Brussels
Maria Lunander (office manager)
Tel: +32 2 501 08 81 Mobile: +32 477 817 885
Central Sweden Brussels Representative Office
Rue du Luxembourg 3
Rue du Luxembourg 3
Fax: +32 2 501 07 49
The office is on the sixth floor of Sverigehuset, in the same building as the Swedish Embassy.
Gordon Hahn, email@example.com
Magnus Höög, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eva Hultgren, email@example.com
Sweden's membership in the EU has meant that the right to make decisions in certain issues has passed from the Swedish government to the EU. The decision-making process is influenced through lobbying (where arguments are put forward to EU Commission officials or politicians in the European Parliament), or via the consultations in which the EU invites participation.
You can find out more about them via the EU's consultation portal.
The Committee of the Regions is a formal and important referral body for municipalities. Employee and employer organisations as well as consumer organisations and other NGOs (the “civil society") are represented via the European Economic and Social Committee.
Issues in Sweden that are controlled via EU legislation include procurement, environmental work, the handling of foodstuffs and working hours (through the Working Hours Directive). Most other areas of activity within the municipalities are covered by the EU's “soft" legislation. In these cases, EU ministers reach a consensus on certain joint visions, but each member state is responsible for organising and controlling the work within its own borders. This is how all fields within healthcare, community care and education are governed. Here the EU acts as a coordinating body using the open coordination method.
Areas of shared responsibility
between municipalities and the EU include the environment, transport, education, the labour market, IT, social issues, public health, consumer issues and culture. Democracy and equality are additional common areas. To run its policy work in practice, the EU draws up special programmes and provides a certain amount of funding. This funding aims to encourage growth and competitiveness as well as compensating for any regional differences and inequalities.
If municipal development needs reflect the focus of the EU, a municipality may participate in EU projects. In the great majority of cases these projects must be conceived and implemented in the form of international cooperation, with at least two other countries involved.
Enterprise Europe Network (previously EuroInfoCenter)
Businesses can contact a special organisation with their questions on the EU: the EuroInfoCenter. The European Commission has given the Center the task of assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with issues such as CE marking, EU legislation, the EMU/euro, and searches for business partners to help develop their operations.
Contact person: Carine Lahall
firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +46 19 17 48 80.
UBC – Union of the Baltic Cities
Since 2003 Örebro has been a member of the UBC, which was established in 1991. This network aims to develop contacts and projects between towns and cities around the Baltic Sea and in the Baltic region as a whole to promote sustainable development throughout the area. The Community Planning programme area and the City administration office in Örebro is responsible for contacts with the network and focuses on environmental, town planning and transport issues.
Through our membership in UBC we are also indirect members of the European network Energy Cities: http://www.energy-cities.eu/
European Cities Against Drugs – ECAD
Örebro Municipality is one of about 50 Swedish municipalities that are members of the international network European Cities Against Drugs, ECAD, which was established in 1994. The network´s cities/municipalities have joined forces with the goal of creating a drug-free Europe. Activities are based on the United Nations´ work to combat illegal drugs.
Rasmus Persson, Municipal Commissioner
The European Network Social Inclusion – ENSI
Via the regional development council, Örebro is also involved in two European networks for social issues: the European Network Social Inclusion (ENSI), which works to launch European cooperation projects, and RETIS (a French abbreviation of Networks of European Areas), where the focus is more on lobbying and other ways of making municipal voices heard in Europe.
Polis is a network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport. Örebro is member of POLIS since 2007. The network was created in 1989. POLIS has 67 members in 17 countries.
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
is an association of over 1220 local government members who are committed to sustainable development. The members come from 70 different countries. ICLEI was founded in 1990 as the 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives'. In 2003, ICLEI's members voted to revise the organization's mission, charter and name to better reflect the current challenges local governments are facing. The 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' became 'ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability' with a broader mandate to address sustainability issues.