"The Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link: Regional Development Perspectives "

Feste Querung über den Fehmarnbelt: Regionale Entwicklungsperspektiven


Time Schedule: October 2009 – April 2010

Applicant: Femern A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark

Final Report:


The Final Report is available in EnglishGerman and Danish language.

The chapters contributed by the Institute for Regional Research (IFR), can be found in No. 44 "Beiträge aus dem Institut für Regionalforschung der Universität zu Kiel": "The Fehmarnbelt Fixed - Link Perspectives of a Cross Border Labour Market".

Within this report, the following two sub-elements have been prepared by Kiel University (Institute for Regional Research):

Cross Border Labour Market (Hayo Herrmann, Johannes Bröcker, Artem Korzhenevych).

Cross Border Mobility (Artem Korzhenevych, Johannes Bröcker, Hayo Herrmann).

Another sub-element has been prepared by Kiel University together with the University of Copenhagen:

Business Clusters (Hayo Herrmann, Christian Wichmann Matthiessen).

Project Consortium:

Jönköping International Business School, Sweden
Department of Geography & Geology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Institute for Regional Research, Kiel University, Germany
ViTiS – Knowledge Communication, Denmark´s Technical University

Consortium Leader

Christian Wichmann Matthiessen, Department of Geography & Geology, University of Copenhagen.

Background and Purpose of the Study

Background for the study is a long-term vision of the Femern Belt Region, starting 2010, called forth by the construction, start-up and operation of the fixed Femern Belt Link – a vision of a true cross-border region where people move freely from one side of the Femern Belt to the other, not only for holidays, but also to work, study or shop and for social contacts, and where firms cooperate and act on both sides of the Femern Belt.

Project Elements and Structure of the Final Report:

Facts and Figures
Infrastructure, Traffic and Logistics 
The Role of the Cities - a Global Perspective
Cross Border Labour Market
Cross Border Mobility
Business Clusters
The Scientific World: Centres, Networks, Development Opportunities
The Fixed Link's Potential Effects on Property Prices 
The Cultural Sector
Values and Attitudes of the Young Generation

Contribution of the Institute for Regional Research, CAU

The whole study is structured into different subareas, where the Institute for Regional Research (CAU) carries main responsibility for the analysis of barriers and incentives characterizing the cross-border labour market, for scenarios of cross-border commuting as well as for the analysis of long-term labour market potentials. In a second subarea, “Clusters”, the Institute for Regional Research (CAU) cooperated with Christian Wichmann Matt­hiessen, Dptm. of Geography & Geology, University of Copenhagen, who delivered facts and valuations from the Danish and Swedish side. These findings have been related with the corresponding results for the German side of the Femernbelt Region, Schleswig-Hol­stein and Ham­burg in particular.

Project Leader at the Institute for Regional Research: Prof. Dr. Johannes Bröcker

Project Staff (Research): Dr. Artem Korzhenevych, Dr. Hayo Herrmann

Cross-Border Labour Market

The empirical fundament are data about cross-border commuting (daily or weekly) and migration over the last years, the current situation and future commuting potential between different parts of the Fehmarnbelt Region, particularly commuting across the Femern Belt. Commuting figures have been analyzed against the background of commuting numbers at the Danish-German land border (Flensburg–Aabenraa) and the Øresund Region. We discuss how barriers limit cross-border labour market connections and – on the other side – how differences across the border encourage commuting and migration (different trade cycle, income or labour market conditions, housing market differences, different tax laws etc.).

This knowledge base helps to evaluate prospective cross-border labour market integration and the impact of the fixed Fehmarnbelt link on building a common cross-border labour market. The strategies for the implementation of a common cross-border regulation framework will benefit from the experience of other cross-border regions with long experience and high integration level, e.g. at the Dutch-German border, the Danish-German land border or the Øresund region.

Clusters: Potential New Interaction

Empirical fundament has been a survey of present technological and industrial clusters in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg (survey by Institute for Regional Research, Kiel) and in Denmark and the Øresund Region (survey by Copenhagen University), including an overview of current cluster management and political monitoring as well as of new perspectives.

In the second step, we attended to actual and potential cluster links on both sides of the Femern Belt: Where are technological and industrial complementarities? Is the fixed Femern Bælt link able to accelerate potentials? In particular, we keep an eye on technological fields, such as the life science and health sector, logistics or food economy. 

A table of important factors for each cluster in Schleswig-Holstein / Hamburg is available in English and German language.