On 4 November, Minister-Presidents Jan Jambon and Mark Rutte concluded the Flemish-Dutch Summit with a joint statement. The summit took place entirely digitally this year, in view of the Covid19 measures.
The pandemic and its enormous impact on the social, cultural and economic systems of both countries was high on the agenda. The summit was therefore centred on a resilient recovery and a sustainable, innovative future.
These meetings - prior to the consultation between the minister-presidents, several digital consultations took place between the ministers in charge - at the highest political level between the Netherlands and Flanders take place every two years. Always with the aim of deepening and broadening cooperation on concrete dossiers.
Some of the topics discussed:
Economic recovery through innovation and energy transition
In addition to the many efforts made by both governments to support businesses in these times, it looked to the future and to how the economies can be supported to address global challenges and continue to play an important role at European and international level.
In this context, the high-tech cooperation agenda was discussed. It was decided to update this agenda and extend the current themes - Energy Innovation, Factories of the Future, Flexible Electronics, Photonics, Life Sciences & Health, and Advanced Materials - with Hydrogen Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Looking out for nature and the environment
Both Flanders and the Netherlands are confronted with the need to reduce nitrogen emissions. Both governments want to tackle this challenge together, by developing an efficient and coherent nitrogen policy in both countries with special attention for the border regions.
Flanders and the Netherlands also share the ambition to be circular by 2050 and commit themselves in the coming years to strengthen cooperation around this and to deepen the establishment of a reinforced (European) recycling hub.
Sustainable and connected mobility of the future
Flanders and the Netherlands face the same challenges in the field of (metropolitan) mobility. Both governments are striving for a sustainable and digital mobility and logistics system and operate in this as each other's partners. Further cooperation in the field of shipping and ports, rail transport, cross-border public transport and the use of bicycles is becoming known.
Finally, both governments will work towards sustainable and connected mobility for the future by setting out a guiding framework for cooperation on Smart Mobility.
pdf fileVlaams-Nederlandse Top 4 november 2020 Gezamenlijke Verklaring (2.4 MB) - The Joint declaration is only available in Dutch.
Photo: Belga - Dirk Waem