Dutch Kabinet wants more attention for border regions
The Dutch and Flemish governments, together with their counterparts, can and should devote more attention to the border regions. That is one of the main conclusions of the administrative working group which Staat Secretaris Knops of Binnenlandse Zaken and Koninkrijksrelaties and Flemish Minister-President Jambon asked to advise on the approach to border obstacles.
Under the leadership of Ms Berx (Gouverneur of Provincie Antwerp) and Mr Donner (Minister van Staat), the working group developed a proposal for tackling border obstacles and supervised an academic study on the creation of cross-border infrastructure. The working group has shown that an approach aimed at derogating rather than adapting rules offers prospects. However, the approach cannot provide a solution for everything.
The government welcomes the results of the study group and realises that more is needed to support the developments in border regions. Residents, businesses and authorities in border regions often have to deal with rules from both countries. This makes cross-border cooperation complex and necessary.
Staat Secretaris Knops:
"Den Haag has focussed more on border regions in recent years, but there is still much to be done to enable new developments in border regions. The recommendations of the administrative working group will help in this respect."
The government recognises the importance of tackling border barriers and, in line with the recommendations of the administrative working group, will focus more on expertise, support, joint preparation of projects and cross-border administrative agreements on start, procedures, timeline and costs.
Tackling border barriers requires political decision-making. For a balanced decision-making process, in which the interests of border regions are carefully considered, Staat Secretaris Knops and Flemish Minister-President Jambon have therefore asked Ms Berx and Mr Donner to provide further advice in the summer of 2021. The government can then decide how to implement the recommendations of the administrative working group on strengthening cross-border cooperation.