Europe in Cities and Counties

A European Profile

The Ruhr Metropolis is a city of cities, located in the heart of Europe. Around 5.1 million citizens in 11 cities and 4 counties engage in shaping the future of Europe every day. It is the multifaceted grassroots activities in the cities and counties that make Europe tangible on the ground. These local activities are complemented by regional services and initiatives of the Ruhr Regional Association's (RVR) European Affairs Department. Together, these local and regional activities blend into the Ruhr Metropolis' unique European profile.

Good to know

The Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) acts as a joint platform for its cities and counties. It facilitates cooperation and supports its member's European Affairs. 

A Regional Platform for Europe


Photo campaign in Gelsenkirchen in the run-up to the European elections 2019, Photo: RVR / Petra Hartmann
© RVR / Petra Hartmann

The RVR's European Affairs Department initiates and coordinates regional campaigns to further raise the profile of Europe in the Ruhr Metropolis. The objective is to mobilise, support and connect local stakeholders as well as enhancing existing local activities. For example, the RVR coordinates a broad public campaign claimed "Let´s Europe" in the run up to the elections of the European Parliament in 2024 to help to raise awareness among the citizens of the Ruhr Metropolis. 


Cycle path Kray-Wanner-Bahn, Gelsenkirchen, photo: Michael Schwarze-Rodrian
© Michael Schwarze-Rodrian

The RVR's European Affairs Department supports its municipalities and counties with a broad range of services. For example, the RVR publishes an EU-Funding Guide for municipalities and counties at the beginning of each EU programming period. This is complemented by an overview of how much money the EU invested in the cities and counties of the Ruhr Metropolis. The overview is published at the end of each EU programming period. Finally, the RVR also offers a broad range of counseling and information services. 


AK-EU Ruhr working session, photo: RVR / Ilka Zamorowski
© RVR / Ilka Zamorowski

The RVR supports the European Affairs advisers of its municipalities and counties with a permanent regional working group (AK-EU Ruhr). The AK-EU Ruhr meets about twice a year. Its main purpose is to prepare common positions, to exchange good practise and to continuously realign the RVR's services in the field of European Affairs. 

Europe in municipalities

Europe at School

Workshop during the European Youth Event 2018, photo: European Union 2018 / Genevieve Engel
© European Union 2018 / Genevieve Engel

The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia certifies schools, which have a distinctly European curriculum. Award criteria include, for example, participation in international projects and partnerships, European project days and bilingual teaching. There are currently 73 certified schools in the Ruhr Metropolis. These schools are spread across 31 municipalities. The high density of certified schools demonstrates the region's commitment to the European idea. 

Town Twinning

Project in the run up to the elections to the European Parliament 2019, photo: RVR / Petra Hartmann
© RVR / Petra Hartmann

United in diversity; This is true both for Europe and the Ruhr Metropolis. Today, the Ruhr Metropolis is home to people from over 200 countries. There is also a long tradition of town twinning, which links cities and counties from the region with partners from all around the world. There currently are links with more than 230 twin towns and counties in more than 30 countries. 

Europe at Local Level

European Week 2023, photo: RVR Jochen Tack
© RVR / Jochen Tack

Almost all of the 53 municipal and 4 county administrations of the Ruhr Metropolis have policy advisers for European Affairs. Their role is to coordinate European Affairs in their administrations, to liaise with local stakeholders and partners across Europe. Three cities also host Europe Direct Information Centres (EDIC). Their role is to inform citizens at the local and regional level about the EU, its policies, priorities and funding opportunities. 

Andrea Höber

Andrea Höber

Head of Department
Department for European Affairs
+49 (0) 201 2069 6362
Kronprinzenstr. 6 45128 Essen

Karina Kleinowski

Karina Kleinowski

Department for European Affairs
+49 (0) 201 2069 6325
Kronprinzenstr. 6 45128 Essen

Ilka Zamorowski

Ilka Zamorowski

Department for European Affairs
+49 (0) 201 2069 326
Kronprinzenstr. 6 45128 Essen