Province of Zuid-Holland (The Netherlands)
Zuid-Holland in Europe:The province of Zuid-Holland is one of Europe's top regions in terms of economic and social potential: an innovative metropolitan delta, comprising mainport Rotterdam, greenports for vegetables, flower bulbs and trees, knowledge-intensive businesses, universities and knowledge institutes, as well as highly urbanised, rural, agricultural and recreational areas, and nature. Zuid-Holland strives to become Europe's real-life testing ground for innovation in fields such as the transition to a circular economy, reliable and clean transport, the protection of a densely populated delta against river and sea water, and the challenges related to feeding our cities.
Our approach: Because of its unique position, Zuid-Holland can contribute substantially to the realisation of European goals. Our European strategy is characterised by a threefold approach:
- We seek to have a say in the realisation of European policy and regulations.
- We collaborate with strategic partners to realise our priorities, providing our partners with the opportunity to learn from our projects, as well as allowing us to learn from theirs.
- We deploy European funds in order to reach our goals, help businesses or organisations from Zuid-Holland to obtain European funding or to find European partners for their projects, and sometimes manage European funds and advise on granting these funds to relevant projects.
Our priorities: In its Outline Agreement 2015-2019, the province of Zuid-Holland has defined its aim: becoming smarter, cleaner and stronger. This aim has been translated into four themes for our European Strategy, which in turn determine the province’s five priorities up to 2020:
- Exploiting our economic potential.
- Protecting the metropolitan delta.
- Enabling the transition to a circular economy.
- Ensuring a reliable and sustainable food supply.
- Creating reliable and clean transport.
Our partners: Zuid-Holland collaborates with strategic partners, at provincial level (the Association of Dutch Provinces), regional level and coastal province level, as well as with partners in the Flemish-Dutch Delta Region and other national and international business and knowledge networks. The four Randstad provinces (Flevoland, Noord-Holland, Utrecht and Zuid-Holland, known as the ‘P4’) combine their strengths to influence decision-making at European level.
Effective European investments
European investments in the province of Zuid-Holland are highly effective. The province is able to demonstrate the difference that every single invested euro makes, as a result of the strong connections that exist in Zuid-Holland between all the important European domains. Therefore, investments have significant impact on all domains, and in addition the true effects of for instance innovations become clear. From this perspective the province can be seen as a real-life laboratory, and its results can be translated into general European policy.
The link: http://www.zuid-holland.eu/europe/about-zuid-holland/european-networks/ pays attention at the EIP Water and Other European Networks, the province is active in China.
At the http://www.zuid-holland.eu/china/ - site you can find information about the Province of Zuid-Holland and her relationship with two Chinese regions: Hebei Province and Shanghai Pudong. The relationship with Hebei is ongoing since 1993 following an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce Haaglanden and meanwhile turned into friendship relation between Hebei and Zuid-Holland. Since 2004 the Province of Zuid-Holland has a relationship with Shanghai focusing on innovation within the economic clusters. With both regions it is a "government-to-government” relationship which is explicitly facilitating "business-to-business” relationships and relationships between knowledge institutions.
The cooperation with Hebei Province focuses mainly in the field of water conservancy and environmental protection, port development, new energy and energy conservation, agriculture and horticulture, and education. The focus of the cooperation with Shanghai Pudong is on innovation, water management, biotechnology, food safety and urban agriculture.
The “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) between the Province of Zuid-Holland, and Hebei Province and Shanghai Pudong respectively were renewed in 2016.