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Hoyerswerda and Schwedt/Oder in dialogue on structural change

On 20 February 2024, a delegation from the Brandenburg city of Schwedt/Oder visited the Old Town Hall in Hoyerswerda. The meeting focussed on sharing experiences of the current risks and opportunities of structural change, which affect both cities equally. Both positive aspects and concerns were openly discussed.

Representatives of Schwedt/Oder and Hoyerswerda pose for the camera in a corridor. In the centre are Schwedt's mayor Annekathrin Hoppe and Hoyerswerda's mayor Torsten Ruban-Zeh.
Representatives of the city of Schwedt/Oder and the city of Hoyerswerda met for an informative exchange of experiences. In the centre are Schwedt’s mayor Annekathrin Hoppe and Hoyerswerda’s mayor Torsten Ruban-Zeh.

While structural change in Lusatia is dominated by the coal phase-out, the transformation process in Schwedt/Oder is characterised by the move away from Russian oil. The PCK refinery in Schwedt is a major crude oil processing plant with around 1,200 employees, which mainly processed crude oil from Russia until the end of 2022.

Schwedt’s mayor Annekathrin Hoppe and Hoyerswerda’s mayor Torsten Ruban-Zeh reported on the current challenges in each case and how they are being tackled. Many parallels were identified and creative solutions discussed. In this context, the #WHY! communication strategy also played a role, which Hoyerswerda uses to provide information about the opportunities of structural change and ongoing projects.

In addition to Hoyerswerda, the delegation from Schwedt/Oder also visited other sites of structural change in the region, including Bautzen, Dock 3 in Schwarze Pumpe and Startblock B2 in Cottbus.

A return visit to Schwedt/Oder is planned in order to continue the exchange and further intensify the cooperation.

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