Northwestern Switzerland Government Conference
The Northwestern Switzerland Government Conference (NWRK) is an amalgamation of the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Solothurn and Jura. The cantons of Zurich and Bern are associate members.
The conference was founded in 1971 and is used for the mutual exchange of information and coordination in fulfilling agreed governmental tasks. It also plays its role as an effective representation of the region when dealing with the Federal Government and other regions in Switzerland, it presents a unified front to partners in the Upper Rhine cooperation and other major regions in Europe as well as providing an overview of inter-cantonal activities and ensuring the flow of information between the inter-cantonal bodies in the region.
The NRWK defines a new work programme for each two-year presidency. The current programme for the years 2015-2017 focuses on priorities in the following three areas (summary):
The NWRK represents regional interests vis-à-vis the federal government. For instance, meetings are organised between various members of the government of North-West Switzerland to discuss current federal agendas. In addition, the NWRK coordinates statements for the attention of the federal administration, the federal councils or further categories of recipients.
Current issues relating to regional policy, such as fiscal equalisation, business and research location issues and work in other committees, form the basis for this exchange. Collaboration with the directors of specialist services is to be stepped up.
The expansion of links in the cultural field between the cantons of North-West Switzerland, which was initiated in 2015, provided the basis for more cooperation and exchange of information between the NWRK member cantons in the cultural area. On the basis of this example, specialists are investigating links in other areas.
The Intergovernmental Conference of North-Western Switzerland (Norwestschweizer Regierungskonferenz –“NWRK”) has approved a joint strategy paper on cooperation within the Upper Rhine Region over the years 2014-2018. This focuses on the following four fields (summary):
- Expanding the region as an attractive and competitive place to live and do business, as well as improving the labour market in the Upper Rhine Region;
- Coordinating transport, housing and environmental development, as well as the sustainable development of environmental and energy policies;
- Developing the varied linguistic and cultural landscape of the Upper Rhine Region;
- Supporting efficient controls and coherent communications in respect of cooperation within the Upper Rhine Region.