Gateway to Europe

Where Europe meets Switzerland

Port rhénan

Located right in the heart of Europe, Basel is the gateway to Europe and also the gateway to Switzerland. Because of its location where Switzerland, France and Germany meet, Basel is closely intertwined with Europe in historical, cultural and economic terms. This means that most of the in-habitants of the three-nation Basel region have always thought and acted in broader European terms, usually taking the form of everyday cross-border encounters and countless collaborative agreements in the fields of education, culture, transport, health and environmental protection.

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Transport hub in the heart of Europe

Its central location on Europe's north-south axis and optimal transport connections make Basel the transport and logistics hub between Switzerland and Europe. Forty per cent of Swiss foreign trade moves through Basel. Six million tonnes of goods and over 100,000 containers are shipped through the Swiss Rhine ports every year. Anyone flying to Basel for business or pleasure lands at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, which is actually located on French soil and has been proving for over 70 years that borders are almost unknown in our special location.

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Europe's landmarks "made in Basel"

The Hamburg Elbphilharmonie building designed by the Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Photo: Thes Raetzk

Basel architects, particularly Herzog & de Meuron, are among the best in the world. With masterpieces such as the Tate Modern in London, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the Forum Building in Barcelona and the Tour Triangle in Paris to their credit, they have created new landmarks throughout Europe. In addition, twelve winners of the Pritzker Prize have left their mark on Basel. And in the immediate vicinity of Basel, the Vitra Campus is yet another centre of attraction for architecture enthusiasts from all over the world.

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European role model in the field of environment and climate policy

For many years now, the canton of Basel-Stadt has been setting new standards with its progressive environmental and climate policy. Since 2009, 100% of the electricity generated by the regional energy provider has come from renewable sources. The border canton pursues a policy of European cooperation, for example in the German-French-Swiss TRION-climate network, in the European Climate Alliance and in cross-border water pollution control. Basel cares about the quality of the air, water and living space.

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A cultural metropolis with international appeal

Basel is the cultural capital of Switzerland and is also making headlines in Europe. Theater Basel, for example, has established itself as a regular at the Berlin Theatertreffen and has already been chosen twice as "Theatre of the Year" by the German specialist journal "Theater heute". In addition, Basel's internationally renowned museums and orchestras are regularly invited to stage exhibitions and perform in concerts at famous cultural venues throughout Europe. At the same time, the world's most important art fair, Art Basel, has become an annual rendez-vous for the most important art collectors and gallery owners from all over Europe.

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A magnet for professionals from all over Europe

Life Sciences Cluster, Basel. Photo: Roche

Whether in the person of Erasmus in the sixteenth century or Hermann Hesse and Friedrich Nietzsche in more recent times, Basel has always attracted outstanding personalities from all over Europe. And today Basel is still an excellent place for study, work or research. Basel's dynamic business location attracts many European professionals, and as a result almost 35,000 people cross the border from Germany and France to work in Basel every day.

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Home game for Nobel laureates

Basel is one of the most important research and knowledge locations in the world. And it is claimed that more Nobel Prize winners have worked here per capita than in any other city. The University of Basel was founded in 1460 and is the oldest university in Switzerland. As part of the tri-national Upper Rhine Research Region, Basel's thinking is dominated by European cooperation. For example, "Eucor – The European Campus" promotes the cross-border mobility of students in the Upper Rhine region.

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Central bank governors' conference

Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
Photo: Canton of Basel-Stad

The Basel region is one of the most productive and innovative business locations in the world. More than 340,000 people from Switzerland and abroad work in the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, with around one in ten of them in the more than 700 start-ups and established companies in the booming life sciences sector. As the location for the headquarters of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Basel is also the meeting place for the governors of the world's most important central banks.

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