ITEM Annual Conference 2023

17nov09:3017:30ITEM Annual Conference 2023Infrastructure and mobility: 'Strong connections with neighbouring countries towards a sustainable and liveable society across the border'

ITEM annual conference 2023

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For major tasks such as energy transition and the development of sustainable transport, cross-border cooperation is essential. An important form of cross-border cooperation is the European transport corridors, which focus on pipelines, ports (hydrogen) and rail, among others. Within corridors are subareas that have often already organized themselves across borders, such as the Benelux, Eurodelta, La Grande Région and the Dutch-Flemish cooperation with the initiation of a switching mechanism.

In the corridors, Europe and the member states arrive at practical and impactful solutions. Several questions arise in cross-border cooperation on infrastructure and mobility. How can interpreting border effects at the start of new developments increase the impact in practice? How do cross-border governance structures deal with the formation of structural substantive coalitions? In what way can the use of instruments be an important catalyst for achieving transcending objectives?

The importance of cross-border cooperation in social tasks is increasing. At the ITEM Annual Conference 2023 we would like to discuss with you the importance of European transport corridors for the development towards a sustainable and liveable society and the cross-border issues involved.

The province of Zuid-Holland is hosting the ITEM Annual Conference 2023. This conference will take place on Friday, November 17, 2023 at the county hall in The Hague. An interesting programme has been put together for you.

Kind regards,  

Prof. Dr. Anouk Bollen-Vandenboorn, Director ITEM  
Drs. Jaap Smit, King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland  



Moderators: Mw. Simone van Trier en dhr. Sander Kleikers

09.30 – 10.00 a.m.  Registration guests ‘Provinciehuis Zuid-Holland’ 
10.00 – 10.15 a.m.  Welcome by King’s Commissioner in the province of Zuid-Holland, Jaap Smit and ITEM director, Prof. dr. Dr. Anouk Bollen-Vandenboorn 
  When will we have powerful European core economic regions? 
  Kees van der Burg, Director-General Mobility, Ministry of Infrastructure en Water Management (speaks on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Mark Harbers)
10.15 – 11.00 a.m.  Horizontal integration of neighbouring countries: innovative EU policy for more cohesion at the border? 
  Martin Unfried – Senior researcher ITEM 

Prof. Dr. Joachim Beck – Rector University of applied sciences Kehl, Germany 

Loth van der Auwermeulen – University of Hasselt, Belgium 

Jean Peyrony – Directeur Général MOT, France 

11.00 – 11.30 p.m.  Border effects of transnational transport corridors 
  Arthur van Dijk – King’s Commissioner in the province of Noord – Holland / President of the House of Dutch Provinces, Brussels 

Jeannette Baljeu – Regional Minister province of Zuid-Holland / Chair EGTC Rhine-Alpine Corridor, Netherlands  

Ronald van Roeden – Dutch Ambassador in Germany  

11.30 – 12.00 p.m.  Coffee  
12.00 – 12.45 p.m.  Cross-border structures for transnational tasks 
  Frans Weekers, Secretary-general Benelux Union 

Carina van Cauter, Governor Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium 

Frederik Zevenbergen, Regional minister in the province Zuid-Holland, Netherlands 

Jean-Baptiste Cuzin, Director in charge of cross-border, European and international cooperation, La Région Grand Est, France 

Sebastian Gröning-von Thüna, Head of Cross-Border Cooperation with France and the BENELUX countries, Federal Foreign Office, Germany  

12.45 – 14.00 p.m.  Lunch  
14.00 – 14.45 p.m.  Transnational and cross-border hand in hand: Energy hubs of the future 
  Martin Unfried – Senior researcher ITEM 

Prof. dr. Michael Frey – University of applied sciences Kehl, Germany 

Jan Molema – Benelux Union  

14.45 – 15.15 p.m.  ITEM in a cross-border society 
  ITEM pitch – ITEM Cross-border Impact Report 2023 
  Pim Mertens – Scientific coordinator / researcher ITEM 

Susanne Sivonen – researcher ITEM 

Sander Kramer – researcher ITEM 

Jacqueline de Groot – Strategic counselor ITEM 

Dr. Math Noortmann – Senior researcher ITEM  

15.15 – 16.00 p.m.  Broad prosperity – every region counts; so also the border region! 
  ITEM Handbook & interactive border region map 
  Pim Mertens – Scientific coordinator / researcher ITEM 

Prof. Dr. Caspar van de Berg – Dean Faculty Campus Fryslân / professor Global and local Governance, University of Groningen, the Netherlands 

Dr. Inge Hooijen – Research manager Broad prosperity Limbourg / steering on impact National Network Broad prosperity – NEIMED, the Netherlands 

Johan van der Valk – Project manager CBS, the Netherlands 

Mark Thissen – Senior researcher at PBL Netherlands Environmental Planning Agency, the Netherlands  

16.00 – 16.15 p.m.  Wrap up and conclusion by ITEM Director, Prof. Dr. Anouk Bollen-Vandenboorn 
16.15 – 17.30 p.m.  Network drinks 



Please register here. On-site participation is no longer possible, but you can still register for online participation via the livestream.

The conference will take place on site. Should you not be able to attend, you can sign up for online participation. You will receive the link for the livestream in the week prior to the conference.


The conference is in Dutch and English. Interpreters are available. Please indicate in the registration form if you would like to use an interpreter (via headset) in Dutch to English or English to Dutch.  


(Vrijdag) 09:30 - 17:30


County Hall province of Zuid-Holland, The Hague


Province of Zuid-Holland, The Hague

Zuid-Hollandplein 1, 2596 AW The Hague

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