On 7 July, the Government of Flanders approved the new strategy paper Flanders - the Netherlands. For the coming years the objectives for the Flemish-Dutch cooperation are strengthening the common logistic, economic and cultural areas.
The geostrategic location of the Low Countries brings with it a number opportunities. Think of the enormous potential of the port area that extends from Ostend to Amsterdam. But also at the cultural intersection of northern and southern Europe, between the Anglo-Saxon and the Germanic world. In order to fully exploit this geostrategic advantage, Flanders aims at the further outgrowth of the Low Countries into a common logistics area.
This seamlessly matches the second objective of the strategy paper: the growth of the Low Countries into a common economic area. By maximizing the opportunities for scale expansion and strategic cooperation, the Low Countries can strengthen their international competitiveness.
Economic objectives also play a part in the third strategic objective - opening the Low Countries into a cultural area. Our language plays a central role. The development of a common cultural space strengthens the position of the Dutch language, enriches the interaction of our cultural carriers, and eventually gives us a larger and more resilient public space.
In order to achieve all this, an enhanced form of international cooperation is needed. But similarly, cooperation opportunities at other policy levels, such as the Benelux and the European Union, will be used.
The paper is only available in Dutch : pdf file2017 Strategienota Nederland (4.56 MB)