Overcoming borders for joint success

Breisach am Rhein - On 12 March, the 25th Baden Business Forum of the Vereinigung Badischer Unternehmen + Verbände e.V. took place at the Birkenmeier Forum in Breisach am Rhein in cooperation with RegioTriRhena. The President of the VBU, Nina Hartmann, and President Dr Bernd Dallmann from RegioTriRhena welcomed around 50 guests in the late afternoon.

The central theme of this event was "Cross-border working in Germany - France: overcoming obstacles". High-profile panellists from various fields added their expertise to the discussion, including MEP Dr Andreas Schwab. The panellists included Michael Hafner, Managing Director of the Vereinigung Badischer Unternehmen + Verbände e.V., Cecilia Kieffer, Chargée de développement économique at the Chambre de Métiers d'Alsace, Lionel Macor, President of Groupe Galopin, Martin Ranz, President of Schreiner Baden e.V. and owner of Ranz Raumkonzepte in Weil am Rhein, and Dr Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Parliament. The discussion was moderated by Bernd Kramer, business editor at Badische Zeitung.

Badisches Unternehmerforum 2024 4

Badisches Unternehmerforum 2024 2

Badisches Unternehmerforum 2024

During the discussion, which lasted around 120 minutes, the existing bureaucratic hurdles in both countries were highlighted. There was a consensus that the South Baden region needs to strengthen the exchange with the clear aim of establishing less bureaucracy, especially in the border region between South Baden and Alsace. 

The diversity of the participants was reflected in the numerous questions raised by the audience, which highlighted the broad spectrum of economic topics.

The panellists emphasised that the accumulation of bureaucratic forms and constraints is a major obstacle for companies and public authorities. These obstacles mean that many companies shy away from the effort involved and therefore do not acquire orders across their neighbour's border. 

Dr Andreas Schwab, MEP, emphasised the importance of stronger economic cooperation between France and Germany and called for courageous governments to remove bureaucratic obstacles and place more responsibility on the actions of those responsible for the economy. 

In the closing speech by Dr Bernd Dallmann, President of RegioTriRhena, the failures of recent years were clearly identified, particularly on the part of Germany. It was emphasised that cross-border business initiatives should not take too long, as otherwise the market would already be damaged. 

Cornelia Rupp-Hafner, Managing Director of the Vereinigung Badischer Unternehmen + Verbände, emphasised the importance of the exchange for constructive cross-border cooperation and announced that talks on reducing bureaucracy would continue in order to promote economic cooperation in South Baden. 

During the subsequent snack, the cross-border topics were also discussed in personal dialogue between the participants. 

The 25th Baden Business Forum was therefore an all-round successful event that once again underlined the importance of exchange between companies and associations and represents an important step towards reducing bureaucracy and increasing cooperation between Germany and France.