GLASGOW politicians have teamed up with representatives from Berlin to establish a two-way partnership that will see both cities thrive in the wake of Brexit.

While the UK endures Brexit’s transition period, Glasgow City Council’s depute leader has been working with prominent figures in the German capital to create a working relationship.

Councillor David McDonald is aiming to secure several possible alliances between the two cities that will develop culture, housing and the environment.

It comes after a motion to develop a new international strategy was agreed at a full council meeting in May 2018.

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Councillor McDonald explained: “We have been looking at a number of cities across the world to see how we can learn lessons from them and to see who Glasgow should align itself to.

“Berlin was one of those cities and after the success of working with them in 2018 during the European Championships, we were keen not to lose that link. We wanted to take the partnership to the next level.

“They were impressed with our inclusive volunteer programme and have now adopted that idea for their own events including the Berlin Marathon.

“This is a “preferred” partnership – as they normally work with capital cities. We won’t be recreating the twin city approach as that is quite old fashioned. We want a partnership focused on benefitting people in Glasgow and Berlin.”

Councillor McDonald is already working with officials in Berlin to develop a digital skills map.

In an increasingly digital world new and different skills are needed in day to day life. Jobs are changing or even at risk of being replaced by new ones.

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As a result, vocational education and training will change through the digital transformation. The digital skills map brings together European regions and cities and promotes the exchange of knowledge, ideas and projects about the digital future of education and training.

Mr McDonald continued: “A number of cities are involved in this project and Glasgow is one of them.

“We are in the very early stages and I am hoping that people here in Glasgow will have the same level of digital skills that they have in Berlin. This is about working together for citizens in both cities to benefit them.”

There are also proposals to help artists living in Glasgow and Berlin which could benefit the night-time economy.

Councillor McDonald said: “There is a cross over between artists. Artists from Berlin are living in Glasgow and Glaswegians have relocated in Berlin.

“This exchange makes our industries more creative and can benefit our economy.”

Mr McDonald was previously invited to Germany to address the Berlin State Parliament’s Europe Committee on the benefits of this partnership on the eve of Brexit.

Councillor McDonald explained to Members of Parliament that he wanted the cities to work together again following the successful joint hosting of the 2018 European Championships.

Following the committee hearing, councillor McDonald also met with the Parliament’s Vice President, Dr. Manuela Schmidt.

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Green Party MP Notker Schweikhardt, who helped organise the visit said: “The visit and presentation marked an important milestone on the way to a partnership between the cities of Berlin and Glasgow.

“A partnership that is fed by mutual respect and focused on delivering for the people of both cities. There seems to be a special bond between Berliners and Glaswegians and one thing became clear during this highly recognised visit; Brexit does not mean Scoxit.

“There will always be a light on in our window for you to find your way home, but until then we hope that this partnership project will carry on the true European spirit into the future.”

Councillor McDonald added: “The response to Glasgow in Berlin was phenomenal. There is a real passion for our city among the city’s politicians and even among the members of the public I spoke to.

“They have a profound respect for Glasgow, and they recognise the new confidence that’s fuelling the growth of our city.

“Berlin is perhaps now the most powerful city in Europe and with Brexit limiting Glasgow’s contact with our European neighbours it was refreshing to hear from the Berlin MPs about their support for developing a new Glasgow/Berlin partnership.

“This would be a partnership that was targeted on delivery and on key themes that are important to both of the cities.”

Berlin’s politicians will be welcomed in Glasgow in April.