In March 2015, the Bremen Senate adopted the Development Policy Guidelines of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. They are the result of a broad participation process with civil society and form the basis for the future development policy actions of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
In the sense of a common perception of our responsibility for the ONE WORLD, in which fundamental political, social and economic changes are also needed in the North, all social and political sectors in the state of Bremen are called upon to review and align their actions with regard to development, sustainability and fair conditions.
With its commitment to development policy, Bremen wants to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are set by the international community and call for the fight against poverty, human rights violations, social inequality and environmental degradation. The Senate is also committed to this at the federal and EU levels. In order to successfully implement the UN development goals, it is important that as many people as possible participate. That is why Bremen has produced the brochure in plain language "17 goals for a better world". It explains in short sentences and simple words what the 17 goals are and how each and every one of us can contribute to achieving them in our everyday lives. The brochure is the first of its kind in Germany.
The three focal points of Bremen's development cooperation are domestic development information and education work, projects abroad that promote social, environmentally sound and sustainable economic development, and support for fair trade in Bremen and at the European level. Bremen has held the title of "Capital of Fair Trade" since 2011, and Bremen and Bremerhaven have also been Fair Trade Towns since 2014.
The civil society commitment of numerous development policy initiatives and associations in the state of Bremen forms an important basis and foundation of Bremen's development cooperation. Bremen therefore supports projects by these partners, such as development education work in Bremen and participatory project approaches in the countries of the South that support sustainable development on the ground.
Every two years, the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen awards the Bremen Solidarity Prize. It is intended as an encouragement to individuals and groups who are working in a special way to overcome injustice in North-South relations and the consequences of colonialism and racism, as well as for democracy and human rights. The first prize winners were Nelson and Winnie Mandela. The prize consists of prize money and a sculpture by the Bremen artist Altenstein, which takes up the motif of the Bremen Town Musicians as a symbol of the strength of solidarity-based action.
Town twinning and friendships are also an important part of Bremen's international relations. They promote exchange and mutual learning at eye level. Bremen has been cooperating with the cities of Durban/South Africa and Windhoek/Namibia for many years. Environmental protection and resource conservation, education for sustainable development as well as cultural and youth exchange play central roles in the cooperation.