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The Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm is a non-profit private limited company in the cities of Ulm and Neu-Ulm and acts as a project agency for inter-regional cooperation in the neighbouring towns and cities on the Danube. Within the framework of civil activities, municipal projects and EU projects in the areas of education, administration and ecology, the Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm supports contact and exchange within the Danube region.

Origins and objectives

The cities of Ulm and Neu-Ulm can look back on many years of close contact with the the cities along the Danube. Waves of immigration over the last 200 years, in particular, have produced vibrant cultural exchange in the Danube region. Even during the Cold War, contact between the cities along the Danube was maintained through civic initiatives. The cities of Ulm and Neu-Ulm also wanted to support existing civic activities and strengthen relations between the Danube countries, so in 1989 they organised the first cultural festival “Donaufest Ost-West”. Further activities, such as the International Danube Festival, which has taken place every two years since 1998, and the opening of the Danube Swabian Central Museum in Ulm in 2000, followed.
The Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm was founded as a joint institution of the city of Ulm and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Ulm in 2002, with the objective of carrying out projects in the fields of politics, culture, science, education and ecology and paving the way for economic contact. 

Activities on the Danube have quickly led to Ulm becoming a recognised centre of competence for cooperation with South-Eastern Europe in Baden-Württemberg. As a result, the image of Ulm as a centre for the upper Danube region has been strengthened – other cities and municipalities from Donaueschingen to Donauwörth can be oriented towards this leading role. Together with the fact that Ulm is situated in the middle of the central European route Paris-Budapest, these location factors will distinguish Ulm as a European city in the future. In this connection, the International Danube Festival, which has been organised by the Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm since 2004, is of central importance. On 1st January 2008 the city of Neu-Ulm became the third shareholder in the Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm. The significance of the cities of Ulm and of Neu-Ulm in the European context has grown as a result of extensive political developments, in particular, the drafting of the EU strategy on the Danube area. 

In order to be able to cope with this political development and the associated demands made by the implementation of the Danube strategy, the mayor of the city of Ulm set up a staff unit for the Danube commissions on 1st January 2011. The Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm now concentrates on municipal projects and supports civic involvement and further projects in the Danube region which are based on the exchange of experiences and establishing contacts. The Danube Office is also responsible for the International Danube Festival, which has taken place in Ulm and Neu-Ulm every two years since 1998 and welcomes artists from the ten Danube countries as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors. Due to the fact that the tasks of the Danube Office Ulm/Neu-Ulm had changed, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Ulm withdrew as shareholders on 31st December 2010.