About us - the State Agency for Cross Border Cooperation and European Affairs (SGZE)
Organization and duties of the agency (SGZE)
The Agency for Cross Border Cooperation and European Affairs (SGZE) is organizationally placed straight among the Office of the district President. The government of Baden-Wuerttemberg is structured in a way that permits the district government offices, the so called “intermediate authorities” to perform many administrative functions for the state. They represent the state or the state government as area experts. In Baden-Württemberg, the management of cross border cooperation is a function of the State Ministry V, International Affairs, European Politics and Protocol. The district government offices represent the state in numerous trans-national decision making bodies/committees. SGZE, located in Freiburg, is the “on site authority” and has responsibility for regional coordination of the state’s cross border activities with the support of the Tuebingen and Karlsruhe district offices. Its duties include the administration of assigned personnel and budget resources (sometimes for foreign partners) in the Freiburg administrative district, collectively and on behalf of all cross border offices or institutions. Since 2007, it is also responsible for the European affairs of the district government in Freiburg.
The primary functions include:
1) Participate in cross border committees, for example, Upper Rhine Conference, International Conference on Lake Constance (IKB), Hochrhein Commission.
2) Implement government neighborhood policies on the Upper Rhine, Hochrhein, and Lake Constance.
3) Plan and execute events at the state level with the aim of intensifying the cross border cooperation (symposiums, tri-lateral conferences)
4) Develop and implement concepts and initiatives of importance to cross border cooperation with neighbor states, especially in the areas of land use and urban development, culturally and environmentally balanced economic structures, transportation, scientific cooperation, and disaster preparedness.
5) Process and perform European and national agency contracts relevant for the implementation of the INTERREG community initiatives.
6) Administer staff and financial resources in the cross border government institutions (IBK offices, joint administrative offices of the Upper Rhine Conference, Hochrhein Commission, Euroinstitut, INFOBEST, and EURES-T).
7) Develop the European competence of the district government in Freiburg.
Offices in the Basler Hof – Home of the Agency for Cross Border Cooperation and European Affairs
The Basler Hof is especially deserving of preservation as an historic monument because of its historical and cultural value, and location adjacent to the Freiburger Cathedral. It is also very appropriate as the headquarters building for the District President of Freiburg and the SGZE because of the traditional historical ties to Austria, Switzerland, and France.
It was constructed in 1494 by Konrad Stürtzel, Chancellor to Kaiser Maximilian I. As a noble, upper class palace, it served as an imperial court during the Austrian Empire. Towards the end of the 16th century and the Reformation, it was the residence in exile of the Chapter of Basel Cathedral (Refugium Basler Domkapitels) and given the name Basler Hof.
After the incorporation of Freiburg into the Kingdom of France in 1677, the residence returned to Arlesheim, in the territories of the Bishop of Basel. In 1681, as the Basler Hof was then under French administration, the “Sun King”, Louis XIV lodged here during one of his inspection trips.
Following the return of Freiburg to Austria in 1697, the Basler Hof became the seat of government for the Austrian forelands. The Hapsburg era and the Austrian forelands came to an end in 1805 with their incorporation into the Duchy of Baden.
In this period, the Basler Hof housed various administrative offices, such as the Tax Collection Office, the Administration of the Domains, district offices, police headquarters, and for a short time, the High Court. Here, in 1849, the “Konrad Stürtzel Hall” was the scene of the famous trial of the revolutionary folk heroes, Gustav Struve and Karl Blind for high treason against the state of Baden.
Rebuilt in 1950 according to the original designs after its complete destruction in 1944, it served as the Ministry of the Interior for the State of Baden and, since 1952, as the Office of the District President of South Baden.