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  • Bus tour in Bremerhaven on 7 May 2004

As a contribution to Europe Week, the Senator for Economics and Ports, together with the municipal committee of Bremerhaven, presented the newly designed EU Bus, which will in future be used on local bus routes in Bremerhaven. During a special journey, guests from commerce and politics visited projects supported by the EU in Bremerhaven.

The projects are currently being supported from Bremen's Objective 2 programme and the URBAN II Community Initiative, i.e. the state of Bremen and the European Union are providing equal shares of the funding for these projects. The present 2000 – 2006 Objective 2 programme, which is promoting commerce in the state of Bremen, is benefiting from roughly € 117 million in grants from Brussels. The level of these grants has just risen as a consequence of the good results achieved from the programme. Since 1989, Bremen has received a total of more than € 285 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) alone, most of it for Objective 2 support. The URBAN II Community Initiative is backed by about € 10 million from the ERDF.

Following te welcome by Mayor Jörg Schulz, the bus visited the t.i.m.e.Port, where Olaf Stammer, the technology park manager, provided information about the flagship project of the URBAN II programme.

After this, Deputy Mayor Hartmut Perschau opened the water tower on Konrad-Adenauer-Platz. The renovation of the old water tower and of Konrad-Adenauer-Platz was funded by the Objective 2 programme.

The third project visited was the Grünhöfe Services Centre. This centre was created by "Article 10" assistance, a predecessor of the URBAN Community Initiative. Robert Reichstein, co-ordinator of Grünhöfe Services Centre, gave an overview of what the centre offers.

The tour was completed by a talk by Klaus Lützenkirchen, the representative of the European Commission responsible for the Objective 2 programme in Bremen. Mr. Lützenkirchen highlighted the good co-operation between Bremen and Brussels in the management of the programmes. Brussels has been monitoring the use of the structural funding in the state of Bremen since the end of the 1980s, and has participated at numerous events. The pan-European conference in the Lichthaus (Lighthouse) in Bremen-Gröpelingen at the conclusion of URBAN I, the opening of Bremerhaven's Columbusbahnhof cruiseport last year, and now the inauguration of the new EU bus coupled with the opening of the water tower and numerous visits to projects during meetings of the monitoring committees have provided the European Commission with opportunities to experience the successful use of structural funding in Bremen.

Bremen has enjoyed pan-European success with its projects. The orientation of Bremen's economic promotion to the fields of science and innovation, as achieved in programmes like the EU's Objective 2 programme or Bremen's "InnoVision 2010" programme, are helping Bremen to establish a future-oriented economic structure and to tackle structural change.