Handover ceremony of the presidency of the Four Motors for Europe to Lombardy on 12 April 2024 in the New Palace

On 12 April 2024, Prime Minister Kretschmann and the State Secretary for Political Coordination and Europe in the State Ministry, Florian Hassler, handed over the presidency of the Four Motors for Europe to Lombardy at the New Palace in Stuttgart. Their assessment of the past Baden-Württemberg presidency and the Four Motors cooperation as a whole was positive.


"During our presidency, we have further expanded our valuable cooperation. Together, we do a lot for a strong European economy, for prosperity and jobs and for democracy. On many topics, experts from our regions come together quickly, exchange ideas in an uncomplicated manner and develop new ideas," said Minister President Kretschmann. "We need to continue to strengthen our own strengths - for example in machine learning, battery and fuel cell technology or quantum technology. In this way, we can maintain our European sovereignty and increase our international competitiveness."

"I am very satisfied with the results of Baden-Württemberg's presidency," said State Secretary Hassler. "For example with the Business Passport. It helps companies from the four motor regions that are interested in setting up in a partner region. They can now find offers even more quickly and accurately." Hassler was also particularly committed to ensuring that the four regions would make their voices heard in Brussels. "This applies, for example, to our demand that industrially strong transition regions, as economic heartlands, be given greater consideration when it comes to funding. We have succeeded in sensitising people to our concerns here. We will continue to work with the new Commission and will continue to contribute our concentrated regional strength."

Raffaele Cattaneo, Lombardy's Undersecretary for International Affairs, gave an outlook on the priorities of the upcoming Lombardy Presidency. The Four Motors for Europe have to continue to be the drivers of our national economies and continue to drive progress in technology, research, innovation and education, said Cattaneo. "And that is exactly what we intend to do in the coming year - with a programme that will address strategic topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), information and communication technology and the commercial use of space. These topics will also be addressed in light of changing European Union (EU) regulations. This raises the question of what role the regions should play at EU level and how it is possible to give subnational governments more powers and a louder voice."

Stéphanie Pernod, First Vice-President in charge of Economy, Relocation, Regional preference and Digital and Marie Kapretz, Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to Germany, were also present at the ceremony, as were the two other partner regions.

Representatives of the regional parliaments from Lombardy and Baden-Württemberg, including State Parliament President Muhterem Aras, also took part in the handover ceremony.

The musical programme was provided by the winner of the State Jazz Prize, Olivia Trummer, and her German-Italian trio - with drummer and composer Nicola Angelucci and bassist Rosario Bonaccorso. A performance by gymnast Malvina Chakyr from TSV Schmiden recalled the Swabian Gymnastics Federation's long-standing commitment to organising sports competitions for young people from the Four Motors partner regions.

Regione Lombardia
Musicians playing