Die Hanse today
... is an active network of towns and cities that historically belonged to, or had active trading exchanges with, the association of merchant towns known as the Hanseatic League. The new HANSE was founded in 1980 in the Dutch town of Zwolle and since then it has become the world's largest voluntary association of towns and cities. Current membership is shown in the list of towns and cities under HANSE Cities.
... has set itself the task of reviving the ideas and spirit of the European city/municipality on the basis of the cross-border concept of the historic Hanseatic League. In this way it increases people’s awareness of the hanseatic history of their towns and cities and helps promote cooperation between them. The objective of DIE HANSE is to make a contribution to economic, cultural, social and civic unity in Europe, and thus to strengthen the self-awareness of the cities and municipalities so that they can fulfil their role as a home of living democracy. To achieve this ambitious goal, the HANSE established its Statutes, for the first time in Hanseatic history in 2000, setting out the principles for its activities.
- It specified in particular the following activities:
- Public relations activities underscoring aspects common to the Hanseatic towns and cities
- Exchange of culture and tradition
- Transfer of knowledge, social activities and information
- Strengthening of economic and trading contacts
- Inclusion of young people (Youth Hansa) in the development of the HANSE