Active Exchange between East and West
The East German municipalities are also benefiting from the idea of partnerships. The 40 communal partnerships that existed at the end of the GDR have turned into more than 2,000 cooperative relationships between West and East German municipalities and counties. As part of this cooperation, there was also an active exchange of professional knowledge – through the dispatching of about 10,000 officials to East German municipalities, and through internships and training courses for East German municipal officials in West German municipalities. The umbrella organizations successfully supported the rebuilding with numerous acts of assistance.
The federal government provided sustained support for this publicly minded help by subsidizing personnel costs, which means that West German advisors and helpers are compensated for income discrepancies – incomes in the public sector in the East are currently only at 80% of Western levels – and for higher expenses stemming from the maintenance of two households and trips back home. The federal budget has set aside 170 million Deutschmarks for this (1993: 181 million Deutschmarks). For the federal government, a focal point of its personnel help was the training of new expert personnel and the continued training of personnel that stayed on. In 1992, the federal government trained about 10,000 young people from East Germany in its training institutions. By the end of this year, every East German employee is supposed to have had the opportunity to participate in a retraining program. Only by proceeding as such is there a chance that the East German administration will be able to continue working largely independently after the financial subsidy for personnel runs out at the end of this year.
Source: Klaus-Henning Rosen, “Verwaltungsaufbau in Ostdeutschland hat geklappt / Patenschaften als Hilfe zur raschen Selbsthilfe” [“The Administrative Buildup in East Germany Succeeded / Sponsorships as Help for Quick Self-Help”], Das Parlament, June 17, 1994, p. 10.
Translation: Thomas Dunlap