On 12 July, Minister-President Jambon and State Secretary Knops paid a working visit to the North Sea Port District. This visit was arranged during the last Flemish-Dutch Summit. With the visit, the Flemish and Dutch governments want to support the strengthening of cross-border cooperation in this port district, where no fewer than eight authorities work together.
Working together on cross-border opportunities in the District
Flanders and the Netherlands are now working closely together on the many cross-border opportunities in the port area. The North Sea Port seaport is centrally located in the area, good for 100,000 (in)direct jobs, an added value of 12.5 billion euros and belonging to the top of the European seaports. This makes it an important economic and industrial cluster for the Netherlands and Flanders. In the North Sea Port District that has been formed around the port, the three Zeeland municipalities of Terneuzen, Vlissingen and Borsele, the East Flemish municipalities of Evergem and Zelzate, the city of Ghent and the provinces of Zeeland and East Flanders have joined forces. This has found its way into a cross-border work plan with ambitious targets.
Joint agenda for societal challenges
The port, authorities and industry in the cross-border region will further expand the international competitiveness and sustainable growth of the industrial port complex in the coming years. They will work intensively to accelerate the energy transition and the transition to a more circular economy. There is also cooperation in the region on strengthening the labor market. After all, the growth leap cannot be made without a sufficiently well-trained workforce. During the visit, the development of nature and biodiversity in and around the port area was also discussed. The quality of life is very important in this unique port area where living and business go hand in hand. Cross-border initiatives that improve the quality of the living and living environment, including mobility, around the port in Zeeland and Flanders were explained by the ships, deputies or mayors involved.
Strengthening cooperation between the Netherlands and Flanders
Governments, ports and companies are already working cross-border where possible. During implementation, they are often confronted with the differences resulting from that land border. In the coming years, the two governments will focus even more strongly on a common policy and customization in the deployment of national and European instruments and funds. A message to which great importance is attached in both Flanders and the Netherlands.
Photo: © North Sea Port