The "new" Hanseatic League
The idea for the modern "Union of Cities – The Hanse" started in the 1970s. At that time – Europe was still separated by the "Iron Curtain" – the idea of European cooperation and cross-border cooperation between cities was spreading. The medieval Hanseatic League served as a model when the first "Hanseatic Day of the Modern Age" was created in the Dutch town of Zwolle in 1980, and with it the so-called "Union of Cities – THE HANSE". Any city that once belonged to the Hanseatic League and in which former banks or branches of the Hanseatic League were located could become a member. Today it is the world's largest voluntary community of cities. The alliance, which now comprises 194 cities from 16 countries, reflects the former Hanseatic region.