Grußwort der Präsidentin der Hamburgischen Bürgerschaft, Carola Veit, anlässlich der 25. Ostseeparlamentarierkonferenz in Riga

Es gilt das gesprochene Wort!

Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear vice chair Jannis,

it is a great honour and pleasure for me to take over the chair and to invite you all to the 26th BSPC Conference in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg next September.

Two months before that, governments meet in Hamburg for the G-20-Summit, so it is a good place also for us, representing the parliaments, to come together for our annual meeting.

Geographically seen, I have to admit that my hometown is not too close to the Baltic sea – but of course it is – from the historical and political point of view.

That is why Hamburg has been a participant of our conference since its foundation in 1991. We have never hosted the annual meeting in all those years, so let's say it is high time to do so.

Living and working together with all Baltic sea neighbours has a long and successful tradition in Hamburg. It has been like this since the end of the Middle Age, when we fought pirates together, and it is still valid.

Of course on the economic field, since Hamburg Port still plays the central role for the economic exchange of the Baltic states with the rest of the world.

But also from the cultural point of view: the founders of our oldest church for example asked the same church architects to construct and build our “St. Katharinen” as the founders of “St. Peter's” Church here in Riga did.

Or Nicolaus Copernicus: He regretted he had never seen planet Mercury. Well, he was short sighted, which of course is a handicap for an astronomer... But in our Hamburg Planetarium we have a big, impressing star-show which deals exactly with his subject and with the conclusions made by Nicolaus Copernicus.

You can see: Hamburg has not only been connected with the Baltic area for centuries – it will always be important for us.

Hamburg offers an attractive environment for work and life, that is strongly characterized by taking over responsibility towards nature.

And we have a highly developed system of public participation and civil legislation, that enables people to influence and to take part in political decisions. All that makes Hamburg the only German city among the „Top Ten“ of the most attractive cities in the world.

You all know Hamburg Port, the biggest one in Germany, but my hometown has several bases for economic power. Hamburg is one of the leading places for aviation industries, for renewables, and Hamburg is the centre of creative industries in Germany. Medical industries and of course tourism are further key aspects.

And of course there is much more: Just to mention that Hamburg was the first state in Germany to have an overall youth employment agency that provides assistance in education an training – as we just discussed. Or that we provide every child between zero and fourteen (and their parents) with child care that ist basicly free of charge.

So let me now give you some impressions: Imagefilm

So we can offer you, dear colleagues, an ideal surrounding for the issues of our BSPC 2017 we just adopted in our work-programme, as there are:

  1. democracy and participation, also in connection with youth exchange
  2. science, education and youth
  3. sustainable tourism

So let me once again say thank you to Janis and his team as well as to Bodo for hosting and organisation of this year's conference!


See you in Hamburg! Thank you!

Ort: 25. Ostseeparlamentarierkonferenz, Riga/Lettland