Securing economic growth in the region
The primary objective of all partners who signed the Master Plan Ems 2050 is to reconcile the equal ecological and economic interests of the region. In concrete terms, this means considering and ensuring the economic strength and infrastructure of the region in all plans and measures for the mutually agreed ecological restoration of the Ems and the neighbouring habitats, and thus the opportunities for local companies and their employees to thrive. Industry, shipbuilding and shipping, agriculture, and tourism make up the backbone of the regional economy, and the Master Plan ensures that all industries will be able to further develop and grow.
The relationship between the Ems and regional economic strength is clear. Large companies from the automotive, wind energy, and paper industries have settled here because they are able to utilise the Ems and its harbours, as well as the many local shipping companies, to connect to international markets. Nearly 15,000 employees work in this industry along the Ems federal waterway and the catchment area of the Ems axis. According to the assessment released by the Lower Saxony Institute for Economic Research in 2014, the Meyer Werft shipyard alone hires around 3,100 employees, half of whom come from the Emsland and Leer districts. In addition to these are more than 2,400 full-time workers at direct and indirect suppliers. One-fifth of the suppliers from the region benefit from the shipyard's technical advances and innovations.
Another estimated 20,000 employees work at companies in sectors that directly depend on the ports (e.g. VW, ENERCON, Nordland-Papier), suppliers, and firms who work for these port-dependent companies, as well as the wider commercial and service sectors.
In order to not excessively strain the agricultural sector with the need for land for the Master Plan, the process for acquiring land for bird conservation and typical estuary habitats is being jointly coordinated with this sector's representatives. The tourism industry is expected to benefit from the improved attractiveness of the region.
Another economic aspect of the contract is securing the future of the location of the Meyer Werft shipyard. In 2009 the shipyard and the environmental associations agreed on bird conservation in accordance with clear regulations. This agreement is still in effect, and a number of aspects are included in the Master Plan Ems 2050. The winter passages of ships into the yard is legally assured until 2019. Recommendations for the summer of 2019 and the period after 2020 are currently being discussed and worked out.
Furthermore, the Master Plan Ems 2050 is linked to the location assurance contract that the state of Lower Saxony, the shipyard, and IG Metall Küste concluded in early 2015 in order to secure the long-term location in Papenburg – at least until the year 2030. The contract guarantees that personnel, training, and research and development in Papenburg and the region as a whole will be retained.