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483 weeks 3383 days 81.192 hours 4.871.520 minutes 292.291.200 seconds




Når der fortælles om byggeriet af den faste forbindelse, bliver der altid nævnt tal. Tal om prisen, tal om størrelsen, tal om trafikprognoserne. Store tal, der har en tendens til at vokse.

Wenn es um den Bau der festen Verbindung geht, werden immer Zahlen genannt. Zahlen über Preise, Zahlen über Größen und Maße, Zahlen über Verkehrsaufkommens. Große Zahlen mit der Tendenz zu wachsen.

Whenever the construction of the fixed link is mentioned, so are the numbers. Numbers about the price, numbers about the size and scope, numbers about the traffic. Big numbers that have the tendency to grow.

Die Zahlen auf unserem Titel erzählen, wie weit eine feste Verbindung zwischen Deutschland und Dänemark über den Fehmarnbelt zeitmäßig entfernt ist. Und diese Zahl wird kleiner. Ständig.

The numbers on this page represent the time before the tunnel connection between Denmark and Germany across the Fehmarnbelt is realized. That number is shrinking. All the time.

Tallene her på forsiden fortæller, hvor langt væk en fast forbindelse mellem Danmark og Tyskland over Femern Bælt er målt i tid. Dét tal bliver mindre. Hele tiden.

You know you’re doing something right when you can get people to drive 1½ hours from Copenhagen to Stokkemarke on Lolland, just to buy a brie.

Susanne and Jesper Hovmand-Simonsen revolutionized their farm in 2007 when they began farming organically.

Historical values create new growth You know you’re doing something right when you can get people to drive 1½ hours from Copenhagen to Stokkemarke on Lolland, just to buy a brie. The cheese is made on Knuthenlund Estate, which is visited by about 30,000 guests each year. They come for two simple reasons: to buy some of the farm shop’s organic goods, or to get a guided tour of one of Denmark’s largest organic farms with its very own dairy.

Germans visit on bicycles

“We also get visitors from Germany. Sometimes they come bicycling. They take the ferry to Rødby and bike the 30 or so kilometers here, to Stokkemarke,” tells Jesper Hovmand-Simonsen, who runs the estate together with his wife Susanne Hovmand-Simonsen, who overtook the family estate in 2006.

Knuthenlund has received a string of international prizes for their production of cheeses. At the World Cheese Awards 2011 the estate won both gold, silver, and bronze for their organic artisanal cheeses.


Since then the couple has been recreating connections. To nature. To craftsmanship. To the grandeur of times past. The estate’s agricultural production has all been converted to organic farming. The dairy produces handmade cheeses and yoghurts, made from the milk of sheep and goats that live on the grounds. The number of employes has risen from six to nearly 25 people – just like in the heyday of estates, the farm is again filled with a throng of people, whose ambition is to cultivate local economic growth.

Ideally situated

Living in what many Danes call “the margin” might be a problem for some, but not for the couple in Knuthenlund. The fact of the matter is that Lolland has some of the richest soil and farmland, and the geographic location isn’t bad at all. Especially not when the trip over the

Knuthenlund’s organic goat and sheep’s milk cheeses repeatedly cause excitement among the judges at the world’s largest cheese competition, World Champion Cheese 2010, where the estate left with two gold medals and one bronze medal, as well as one gold medal in 2011.

Knuthenlund’s fields are about 730 hectares. The livestock population consists of around 500 sheep and 500 goats.

Fehmarnbelt will soon be under the sea in the coming tunnel. “We sell most of our production of food products in Copenhagen, but also in northern Germany, and there is no doubt that a faster connection to e.g. Hamburg constitutes an interesting potential for us”, tells Jesper Hovmand-Simonsen. With a product that appeals to quality-conscious consumers with strong buying power, the location between Hamburg and Copenhagen is extremely convenient.

Looking back and moving forwards

Knuthenlund has created its success based on real, concrete values, that run deep both historically, socially, and environmentally. The old days will never return, but there is a restored connection to many of the values of the past. This augurs well for the future.

Knuthenlund’s farm shop sells meat and dairy products produced on the estate along with products from other local organic producers.

Moreover, the estate won the prize as Scandinavia’s Best Cheese in 2010 together with the prize of Best Sheep’s Milk Cheese, along with Best International Cheese at Premio Roma in both 2010 and 2011.

Youths make contact The exchange of electrician apprentices has created an awareness in Lolland-Falster of the lack of electricians in northern German businesses. That opens the door to unemployed Danes finding work south of the Fehmarnbelt, and job centers in both Lolland-Falster and Agentur for Arbeit in Lübeck are now investigating which local industries can be helped by moving labor forces across the border. As Peter Bode expresses it: “All politicians are talking about the Fehmarnbelt region. We’re the ones making it.” The idea to exchange apprentices between businesses in the Lübeck area and Lolland-Falster came from Peter Bode himself, who together with partner Peter Hartmann founded Habotec about 10 years ago. In the beginning of 2012 he took contact to the project partners in the Interreg-project “VET Qualification System”, because he was interested in participating in the project and wanted to hear if the project partners were interested in collaborating in the exchange of electrician apprentices.

Five apprentices from the Lübeck region spent their spring in Denmark, where they spent one week at school with an introduction to the Danish language and Danish employment, followed by two weeks of internship at a local business.

“We were definitely up for that”, says Svend Erik Jessen, project manager at CELF, who adds that the business school has from several years of EU-project work a lot of experience with making contact across the border in cooperation with different schools and organizations.

21-year-old Kevin Neuenfels is one of the apprentices who said yes, when his boss, Peter Bode, asked him if he was interested in an internship in Denmark. “I’ve learned a lot from it”, he says. “In Denmark I visited private customers and worked in, among other places, the Guldborgsund Tunnel. I’ve never tried that before, so I had completely new experiences”, tells Kevin Neuenfels, who definitely envisions the possibility of finding a job in Denmark in the future.

Businesses on both sides of the belt were invited to an orientation meeting, and several businesses other than Habotech saw the merit. A handful of businesses from both sides of the Fehmarnbelt showed up, and the agreements were arranged.

October is set for the next round of exchanges, when Habotec and a range of other businesses in and around Lübeck will receive a visit from a handful of Danish apprentices. The businesses’ leaders have already met with each other multiple times.

Habotec has 86 employees and delivers a range of different construction and installation services within areas such as electronic, heating, and sanitation.

Here’s the recipe to how a business makes contacts across the Fehmarnbelt: send apprentices across the border.

“We have obvious opportunities for cooperation between companies, and in this regard it is advantageous that some of our apprentices know our colleagues in the neighboring country”, says Peter Bode. “We have created a community. That’s a good starting point for getting results.”

Through cooperation between the educational institutes CELF and Emil-Possehl-Schule, the exchange of apprentices is included in several EU-projects, which grant financial support for various activities.

Peter Bode’s initiative to exchange apprentices qualified the business to the finals for “The Integration Award 2012”. The award is ordained by the Fehmarnbelt Business Council.


Money and life

A growing region rich in historical connections In 1864-65 a man by the name of Gustav Kröhnke worked hard on a plan to bring Copenhagen and Hamburg closer together.

In 1864-65 a man by the name of Gustav Kröhnke worked hard on a plan to bring Copenhagen and Hamburg closer together. No doubt that he could argue for the economic benefits the two cities could expect from a direct railway connection with ferry transport across the Fehmarnbelt. But the real tour de force of his work was more likely 190 kilometers from Copenhagen and 140 kilometers from Hamburg, on the island Fehmarn.

Gustav Kröhnke and his wife had a dream about running their own inn on Fehmarn. And what could be more beneficial for their inn than traffic? A train and ferry filled with many travelers. Unfortunately, Kröhnke and his wife never got their high speed connection between the metropolises.

The dream of a tourism boom

Changing affiliations

His wife was born here. She grew up in the town of Gammendorf three kilometers from the island’s northern coast, where she as a child probably enjoyed the sand and the sight of 19 kilometers of the swelling Østersø, the sea between her native island and the closest coast in the group of islands to the north, which Danes call “The South Sea Islands”.

HISTORY - a huge project

The history of the region surrounding the Fehmarn is the story of three countries neighboring each other, for better and worse. Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Or rather the story of three neighboring regions, that in times past were governed by the same state, but today are residents of their own native countries.

The historical facts surrounding the Fehmarnbelt region are documented very comprehensively. Many of them are described in several Interreg-projects between project partners in Denmark and Genmany, the latest project named “Ikke kun sauerkraut og



Fugleflugtslinjen, with a ferry connection over Rødby-Puttgarden, opened in 1963. Back in 1824, Lübeck and Hamburg offered to finance the upgrade of the route between Hamburg-Copenhagen with a main road between the two cities, but the idea was vetoed by the Danish king, who at that time held dominion. He saw no reason for any cities outside the old Danish kingdom to grow any stronger.

smørrebrod” (“Not only sauerkraut and smørrebrød”). Information and illustrations used in this magazine were kindly made available by Museum Lolland-Falster under the expert guidance of deputy manager Anna-Elisabeth Jensen.

The Danish king lost the herring markets in Skåne to the German Hanseforbund. In response, the Danes built up a new herring market on the “elbow” of Lolland. Today the area is characterized by the many elevations by the coast, which secured the crude market stalls from ending up as pools of mud in case of bad weather.

VIKING TREASURE from Vålse The photographs on this page are an example of the riches that used to characterize the area. In 1835, a farmer came across what turned out to be a priceless silver treasure, while he was plowing his fields in Vålse on Falster. Seven kilograms of silver were found in bars, jewelry, and coins, some of which can be dated to before 1000 A.D. The collection of coins bears witness to a rich trade, with coins from all over the world including Arabia, Normady, and England.

DENMARK’S BIGGEST CITIES In viking times around 800-900 A.D., Hedeby in the Duchy of Slesvig was Denmark’s largest city. Lund in Skåne was the largest in the 1100s. In the beginning of the 1200s, Lübeck was Denmark’s largest city.

The photo was kindly made available by Nationalmuseet, Denmark.

A special period in the region’s history, which some might remember from history in school, is the German Hanseforbund and the confederation’s extensive herring trade, which was a market of international proportions.

The great herring market

The “invention” of the herring market can be attributed to the Danish king, who exempted an area in the then-Danish Skåne from customs in connection with internal trade. The only condition was that traders exclusively use royal Danish mint. The Østersø fishermen, many of which came from Lolland, Falster, and Møn delivered the herring, Germans supplied salt, and the local inhabitants of Skåne manufactured barrels. Herring was salted in enormous quantities, and traders from all of Europe came to purchase it. They were mostly resold to Catholic Europe, where herring was permissible to eat during the meatless fasts.

An integrated labor market

The most renowned herring market was “Falsterbo”, whose name is directly occasioned by the many fishermen from Falster, who landed their catch on the Skånske herring market. A census from 1494 mentions that 97 of the 434 stalls at Falsterbo were set up by folk from the cities Stubbekøbing and Nykøbing on Falster. Falsterbo, with its yearly sales of over 300,000 barrels of dried herring, was a gigantic marketplace. It demonstrates exemplary cooperation between people in the Swedish, Danish, and German parts of the Fehmarnbelt, each contributing with their own specialties, and together creating a huge success.

The SWEDISH beet girls Maybe you’ve heard of the beet girls from Poland that came to Lolland to find work in the beet fields. Lolland-Falster also has beet-Swedes. In fact, a large number of Swedish beet girls came to Lolland in connection with the huge emigration to the Americas in the ending of the 1800s. But the Swedish girls apparently fell into place quite quickly. They didn’t stand out in quite the same way the Poles did, who were Catholic and often darker.

Danish king in GERMAN Confederation DANISH train premiere in Germany The Danish Kingdom’s first railway connection was first established in 1844 in what is today Germany, namely the so-called Østersøbane between Altona and Kiel.

In 1864, Germany was made up of 39 small and large kingdoms, principalities, and havens, that together were called The German Confederation (Hanseforbundet). Holsten and Lauenburg were also members of the confederation, and since the Danish king was Duke there, ranking as a German prince, he too was a member of The German Confederation.


”What can I get out of involving myself in this region´s development?”

Reconnection Kære læser

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser

Dear reader

Femern Bælt regionen er ikke ny. Vi, der bor her, har bare været adskilt i mange år. Krige, konjunkturer, fastgroede rutiner og fordomme har skilt os ad. Men i disse år genskaber vi forbindelsen. Vi “reconnecter”.

Die Fehmarnbeltregion ist nicht neu. Nur waren wir, die wir hier leben, über viele Jahre getrennt. Durch Kriege und unterschiedliche Konjunkturverläufe, durch eingefahrene Routinen und Vorurteile. Aber in diesen Jahren knüpfen wir die Verbindung neu. Wir arbeiten an einer “Reconnection”.

The Fehmarnbelt Region is not new. Those of us who live here have been separated for many years. Wars, economic conditions, and rooted practices and prejudices, have set us apart. However, in recent years we are recreating this connection. We are reconnecting.

Den enorme erhvervsaktivitet, som byggeriet af den faste forbindelse bidrager med, giver virksomheder anledning til og mulighed for at finde sammen på tværs af grænserne og påtage sig opgaver og tilegne sig kompetencer, der tidligere forekom uopnåelige. Men vi får langt mere end det. Tunnelens indvirkning på transportmulighederne skaber nye muligheder for samarbejde omkring uddannelse, forskning, arbejdsmarked, kultur og turisme. Vores folk kommer i langt højere grad til at arbejde, studere, opleve og stifte familie i hinandens lande. Vores fælles historie dokumenterer, at dette ikke er noget nyt. I disse år “reconnecter” vi blot. Europa kigger på os. Ikke kun fordi kontinentets største byggeprojekt finder sted her. Men fordi vi har potentialet til at vise det øvrige Europa - og verden - hvilke muligheder, der åbner sig, når folk “reconnecter” på tværs af kulturelle, sproglige og nationale grænser. Du har sikkert spurgt dig selv: Hvad får jeg ud af at involvere mig i denne regions udvikling? Vores svar er: Det er der ingen, der har fantasi til at forestille sig.

Fehmarnbelt Weekly

Imprint Fehmarnbelt Weekly Reconnection Editor: Henrik Kragelund, First Link Kommunikation Layout: Mette Glyholt


Die enormen Wirtschaftsaktivitäten in Folge des Baus der festen Verbindung bieten Unternehmen den Anlass und die Möglichkeit, grenzübergreifend zusammenzufinden, neue Aufgaben anzunehmen und sich Kompetenzen anzueignen, die bisher unerreichbar schienen. Doch das ist noch längst nicht alles. Die Bedeutung des Tunnels für jede Form von Transport bringt auch neue Kooperationsmöglichkeiten in den Bereichen Bildung und Forschung, für Kultur und Tourismus und nicht zuletzt für den Arbeitsmarkt mit sich. Wir werden weit mehr als bisher in den “anderen” Ländern studieren, arbeiten und auch Familien gründen. Unsere gemeinsame Geschichte hat gezeigt, dass dies nicht neu ist. Reconnection eben. Europa schaut auf uns. Nicht nur, weil hier das größte Bauprojekt des Kontinents kurz bevor steht, sondern weil wir Perspektiven aufzeigen können, die sich daraus ergeben, dass sich Menschen über kulturelle, sprachliche und nationale Grenzen hinweg wieder verbinden. Sie haben sich sicherlich schon gefragt, welchen Nutzen Sie davon haben, sich an der Entwicklung der Region zu beteiligen. Wir wissen, dass Ihnen darauf zurzeit niemand eine Antwort geben kann. Aber das Feld wird jetzt bestellt. Dann folgt die Ernte.

Fehmarnbelt Weekly

The enormous economic activity surrounding the construction of the tunnel is giving businesses the occasion and opportunity to come together across borders, undertake tasks, and acquire skills, that previously seemed unattainable. But there is much more than just economics at play. The tunnel’s effect on rapid transit are creating new possibilities for cooperation surrounding education, research, labor, culture, and tourism. Our peoples will to a much greater extent begin working, studying, experiencing, and raising a family in each other’s countries. Our common history documents that this is not historically unprecedented. We are merely reconnecting. Europe is looking at us. Not only because the continent’s biggest construction project is happening here. But because we have the potential to show the rest of Europe - and the world - the possibilities that exist when people reconnect across cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries. You have probably asked yourself, what can I get out of involving myself in this region’s development? Our answer is: Nobody has the imagination to envisage what the future brings.

Fehmarnbelt Weekly

Health Logistics Maritime economy

Food Green technology


Health Logistics Maritime economy


Food Green technology

Here are positions of strength around the Fehmarnbelt represented on a map. A collaboration across the border around these positions of strength is obviously ideal, since the area already has a head start on these positions.

Close ties strengthen Christian Wichmann Matthiesen is behind the report “Den faste Femern Bælt forbindelse, Regionale Udviklingsperspektiver” (A Fixed Fehmarn Belt Connection, A new dynamic regional development in Northern Europe) released in 2011. The report has been published as booklet in Danish, German, and English, and contains a wealth of information that is relevant to politicians, business- and organization professionals, and anyone else interested in the region’s potential. The book can be bought online at:

There are some bordering areas between Denmark and Germany where a collaboration would work better than others, tells Christian Wichmann Matthiesen. As a professor at the University of Copenhagen, he has been responsible for an extensive investigation of the development opportunities in the Fehmarnbelt region.

Strengths can create clusters

“Some areas we excel at, on both sides of the border, are tourism, food production, health and medical sciences, green technologies, and to some extent, maritime industries,” he says. There is very little collaboration across the border in these industries, but it would an obvious choice to enable cooperation. “For example, Kiel and Lübeck, with their university hospitals, excel at medical sciences, and establishing cooperation between them and the hospitals in Næstved and Nykøbing Falster appears evident,” he says.

There is a whole number of reasons for the areas adjacent to the Fehmarnbelt to collaborate cross-nationally. It is in fact the key to establishing more connections – to businesses, research institutes, and the big cities of the region.

By cooperating across the border within these chosen areas of strength, the region has the possibility to develop a so-called cluster. Concentrations of businesses, educational institutes, etc, that are all focused on the same industry or technology create a synergistic effect, that attracts other businesses and institutions with the same focus.

Community pays off

The construction of the tunnel removes the so-called land-sea barrier, which is a very strong barrier, tells Christian Wichmann Matthiessen. When it is removed the opportunity to establish a proper border region will arise, where people on both sides of the belt can cross back and forth without thinking about sails or worrying about ferry schedules. And there’s also advice on cost of crossing: “We find on Øresund that people who commute over the border, find each other and drive together,” tells Christian Wichmann Matthiesen. That way the

cost of crossing becomes very cheap, and with a mileage allowance for tax exemption, car pooling can even become a source of revenue.

Focus from the EU and big cities

Having a high degree of community and collaboration cross-nationally can also be economically advantageous for authorities and businesses. Actively cooperating border regions have a range of possibilities for achieving EU-funding for different purposes. Moreover, collaboration is also a good idea for catching the attention of the metropolises. “It takes a certain amount of strength to participate in the activity of big cities. And strength can be gained from community,” says Christian Wichmann Matthiessen.


Businesses connect online Fehmarnbelt Resources is an online catalogue for the many businesses and business networks that are readying themselves for the huge construction projects in the Fehmarnbelt region. The portal presents the businesses with hardheaded facts about experience and services, and has an excellent search function. If you are looking for a collaboration partner in Greater Copenhagen that can construct in stainless steel and speak Polish, you’ll find them here. And if you’re missing a lawyer that can navigate the German language and laws, you won’t go wrong here either. Already 70 businesses now have a profile on Fehmarnbelt Resources. Some are presented on this page.

Bang + Regnarsen Advokater

Store Kongensgade 49, 1264 København K, DK


Lejerstoftevej 1, 4660 Store Heddinge, Danmark

Baltic Facility Solutions

Dorfstraße 7, 23730 Beusloe, Tyskland

Bang + Regnarsen Advokater – Rechtsanwälte has a highly specialized knowledge within Danish-German business relations through many years of experience within this area. Our Danish and German speaking employees advise businesses about entering enterprise contracts, supplier contracts, cooperation agreements, the formation of consortia, along with various other advisory services surrounding construction law... Read more at

Haucon is a specialist in casting concrete elements, along with water and moisture insulation. For the Storebælt and Øresund connections we have delivered specially manufactured parts for the establishment of floodgates together with a range of other components. In addition, we have participated in several large enterprises, including the Metro construction, the Opera house, and Motorway 3. HauCon A/S is the leading stockist in a long range of standard and special components. We continuously try to have all standard articles in stock, thus maintaining backorder percents at an absolute minimum... Read more at

Baltic Facility Solutions is a collaboration between four businesses, that together with a range of partner businesses, offer services to construction projects on a large scale such as the tunnel construction under the Fehmarnbelt. Our specialty is securing an efficient construction site – establishment of the site, supplying electricity, transport and logistics, safeguards, safety and preparedness, cleaning and waste management, project management, as well as supplying everything from hand tools to construction equipment and machinery... Read more at

Femern Service Partners (FESPA)



Femern Service Partners (FESPA) is a ’One-Stop-Shop’ service center. We are made up of a network of smaller and medium sized businesses that work together supplying contractors, developers, and other customers with products, workmanship, and services which they ’happen to be missing’. The network consists of businesses within facility management, guards and safety, transport and logistics, cafeteria and catering, cleaning, IT and office supplies, communication, reparation and maintenance, as well as port management and port security... Read more at

Ibka is a technology-based service partner and the country’s leading business within industrial cleaning. We focus on everything within high pressure cleaning, industrial dredging and decanting of sludge. Headquarters are in Vordingborg, and we have departments in Kjellerup in Jutland and in Kungälv by Göteborg. We operate in all of northern Europe... Read more at

Jannerup is a full service graphic agency that offers offset printing, digital printing and copying, graphic design, desktop publishing, web solutions, portable exhibit systems, large prints, etc, and is Svanemærket (ecolabelled). The business also has its own advertising agency. In the context of large enterprises, both internal and external communication is necessary, and we are capable of delivering everything within the field of communication. From business cards to information banners along with folders, magazines, books, home pages, and social media... Read more at

Østre Kaj 5, 4970 Rødby, Danmark

Spirevej 2, 4760 Vordingborg, Danmark

Næstved Sprog- og Integrationscenter, NSI

Kasernevej 20, 4700 Næstved, Danmark Næstved Sprog-og Integrationscenter, NSI, has since 1985 educated foreign residents in the Danish language and culture. We offer instruction in fixed schedule teams or we establish customized teams and courses for e.g. businesses, where the teaching is supplemented with knowledge such as specific technical terms and working rules that are relevant for the businesses’ foreign employees. The Danish courses follow The Common European Framework of Reference for Language, which insures consistency during evaluation and recognition of language qualifications across the EU... Read more at

Østergade 28, 4700 Næstved, Danmark

Fehmarnbelt Weekly ENGLISH  

Fehmarnbelt Weekly ENGLISH

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