It is established practice to speak with one voice when representing the interests of the Ruhr Metropolis towards the EU Institutions. Therefore, the Mayors, the Heads of the County Authorities and the Regional Director of the RVR regularly travel to Brussels. These delegations engage in political discussions and intensive dialogue. With these so called EU-Ruhr-Dialogues, the Ruhr Metropolis aims to showcase its potential as a role model for sustainable structural change and to address joint concerns. In this way, decisions in Brussels can better take into account local policy preferences.
The Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) acts as a joint platform for its cities and counties. It prepares common position papers and organises the EU-Ruhr-Dialogues.
The fifth EU-Ruhr-Dialogue took place in July 2020 in the form of three video conferences. Mayors and the Regional Director of the RVR presented the positions of the Ruhr Metropolis to representatives of the EU-Commission. Among the addressees were the Directorate-General for Regional Policy and Urban Development (DG REGIO), the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL) and the Cabinet of EU-Commission Vice-President Šuica (responsible for democracy and demography).
The EU-Ruhr-Dialogue focused on two topics: EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 and the "Conference on the Future of Europe". Based on a joint position paper of the Ruhr Metropolis on EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027, the Mayors and the Regional Director conveyed the region's concerns to the EU-Commission. Another goal was to learn more about the EU-Commission's plans on the "Conference on the Future of Europe" and to showcase best practices from the Ruhr Metropolis.
After the first joint visit of the Mayors, the Heads of the County Authorities and the Regional Director of the RVR to Brussels, in January 2013, the EU-Ruhr-Dialogue quickly developed into a recurring format. Each EU-Ruhr-Dialogue focusses on a specific topic or is linked to a specific occasion. A general objective is to bring together local concerns, regional priorities and European initiatives.
The EU-Ruhr-Dialogue 2013 aimed at introducing the Ruhr Metropolis in Brussels. In 2014, the second EU-Ruhr-Dialogue focused on "European perspectives for sustainable economic-, labour market- and social development in the Ruhr Metropolis". As part of the EU-Ruhr-Dialogue in 2016, the "Green Infrastructure Ruhr" was presented. During the fourth Dialogue, in October 2017, the "Future of Cohesion Policy" was discussed with the EU-Institutions. The EU-Ruhr-Dialogue 2020 (virtual format) was aimed at conveying the region's requirements for EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 to the EU-Commission.