"Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – a state for living and working"

Governmental declaration of Minister-President Manuela Schwesig following her inauguration on 12th July 2017

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig named the focal issues of her governmental activities Show details

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig named the focal issues of her governmental activities

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig named the focal issues of her governmental activities

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig named the focal issues of her governmental activities

It is the citizens who have top priority for me, stated the Minister-President at the beginning of her governmental declaration. Her focus would thus be on close dialogue: I wish to be the Minister-President of all the people in our state: Of the inhabitants of both Mecklenburg and Vorpommern, men and women, children and young people, of the middle and older generations. The Minister-President of those who are faring well and are satisfied with the development of our state just as much as those people who are dissatisfied and whose expectations have not been met to date. It is my objective to be there for them all and to campaign for them, stressed Manuela Schwesig before the State Parliament (Landtag) on 12th July 2017.

In terms of the content of her areas of focus, the Minister-President would be concentrating on continuity and reliability. The emphasis of her governmental activities would concern the issues of “The economy and good work”, “Families and children” as well as “Social cohesion”. In doing so, the sound financial policy of the state should be continued.

Focal issues of governmental activities

The economy and good work

Focal issue digitalisation: Newly laid telephone lines for broadband development Show details

Focal issue digitalisation: Newly laid telephone lines for broadband development

Focal issue digitalisation: Newly laid telephone lines for broadband development

Focal issue digitalisation: Newly laid telephone lines for broadband development

The most important task for us will be to continue the further development of the economy of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern so that jobs are created and secured, namely good jobs with fair wages and employee-friendly working condition, states the Minister-President.

To achieve this objective, the federal state would need to broaden its economic base. Jobs are required in industry and other service sectors. Schwesig: My focus is on agriculture and the food industry, renewable energy, healthcare management, the maritime industry, the skilled trades and, for instance, also the automotive and aerospace supply industry. We must lend our support to those sectors which pay good wages.

A new main emphasis is to be placed on digitalisation. This would open up new opportunities for the economy in a state like Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which offers plenty of scope for new ideas and the ideal conditions for creative work:

The state government will thus be launching a 10-million-euro programme aimed at further promoting digitalisation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Taking the good experience our state has had with the technology centres and business incubators as a basis, we are now seeking to set up centres for digital start-ups. And we wish to lend our support to already existing companies with a sponsorship scheme to enable them to adapt themselves to take advantage of the new possibilities.

Trainer together with his apprentices Show details

Trainer together with his apprentices

Trainer together with his apprentices

Trainer together with his apprentices

A further major challenge facing us is to secure the demand for skilled labour. The wage level needs to rise in the state. Schwesig: We will be campaigning with the trade unions and an array of business representatives for the payment of more collectively agreed wages in the state. The promotion of trade and industry of the state should be more heavily geared towards creating permanent jobs subject to social insurance contributions and bound by collective agreements. It is her aim to reach a consensus with the parties to the collective wage agreements in resolving this issue, remarks Schwesig.

A new programme “Bürgerarbeit” geared towards single parents is to be created whose purpose is to combat long-term unemployment. When it comes to energy policy, the state government will strive once more to achieve a better balance between the development of renewable energy sources and the financial burden on the citizens, and lend its support on a national level for a fairer distribution of the power supply costs.

Families and children

Family with bicycles Show details

The objective for the future is to bring about a reduction in parental contributions

Family with bicycles

The objective for the future is to bring about a reduction in parental contributions

The second main emphasis concerns the strengthening of families and children. We are seeking to improve the compatibility of family and work and to provide good child-care centres, good day-care and good schools, states Schwesig.

Parental contributions for child-care centres will be reduced by 50 euros per child with effect from 1st January 2018. This would be with the exception of the last year of kindergarten since there is already an allowance. A saving of 600 euros in costs per year constitutes a significant easing of the financial burden on parents. In a further step, parents with two or more children at day-care centres shall then receive an additional allowance as of 1st January 2019. The Minister-President: They will then only pay half of the parental contribution for the second child and nothing at all for the third child at a day-care centre.The long-term objective is to provide free day-care facilities.This would represent a major relief, particularly for families in the lower and middle income brackets.

When it comes to schools, the most important tasks are to continue with the 50-million-euro programme, to implement inclusion in education, i.e. the non-separation of students with special needs from students without disabilities, and to develop all-day schools in the state, whereby the goal is to provide places for 10,000 pupils.  Offering equal opportunities would also involve the support of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in setting more common standards in the educational system.

Social cohesion

Grandfather with his grandson and a football Show details

Grandfather with his grandson

Grandfather with his grandson and a football

Grandfather with his grandson

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern should be a state for all generations. The way has been cleared for the statutory alignment of pensions in East and West Germany. This is a major step towards social unity. However, she does see an additional need for improvement and would fight for the introduction of a solidarity pension and a social equality fund to solve the problems of the transfer of the guidelines for state pensions in the former West Germany to East Germany, for instance in the case of divorced women from the former GDR.

Schwesig: I am relying on the politically active citizens in the state since they are the ones who hold our federal state together and, at the same time, strengthen democracy. We need a strong service provider for volunteer work to promote good projects in a straightforward manner. For this reason, the volunteer foundation will continue to receive the full support of the Minister-President.

Culture also intensifies social cohesion. She attaches particular importance to the many small-scale cultural initiatives in rural areas. The state government will greatly simplify the system for the promotion of culture which has been in place to date.

In rural areas, the state government is faced with the difficult task of maintaining a functioning public infrastructure. This applies, in particular, to medical and nursing care. We need to work hand in hand with the people responsible in the healthcare system to come up with appropriate solutions. Top of the list in terms of what is required is a greater dovetailing of in-patient and out-patient services.

In dialogue with the citizens

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig Show details

The Minister-President also places her reliance on social media

Minister-President Manuela Schwesig

The Minister-President also places her reliance on social media

It is my wish to get into conversation with as many citizens as possible – including those who are dissatisfied with the development in our federal state. In this way, she aims to regain lost confidence in politics and democracy.

The series of events “On-site state government” will be continued. She also intends to introduce “practical days” during which she will work alongside members of staff in various companies or institutions for a whole day – in order to bring everyday experiences to bear in her governmental activities”.

The Minister-President also relies on social media when it comes to entering into a dialogue with the citizens: Facebook and Twitter are no substitute for a visit to a day-care centre or a nursing home. However, social media provides a good way of getting into conversation, particularly with younger people. I aim to take advantage of this channel of communication.