A milestone in the cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands: the project ‘Coordination Point Border Obstacles Flanders-Netherlands (Schakelpunt)’ wasSchakelpunt approved by the supervisory committee Interreg Flanders-Netherlands on 20 March 2024. This three-year project focuses on intensifying collaboration between all levels of government and knowledge institutions in Flanders and the Netherlands in order to deal with practical border obstacles in the Flemish-Dutch border regions, to serve as a vital link, align processes and enhance connectivity across borders. We are delighted to participate in this prestigious project and to contribute our long-standing knowledge and experience in cross-border cooperation.

Donner-Berx group
Cross-border cooperation of residents, entrepreneurs and civil society organisations can be hampered by differences in regulations and competences between Flanders and the Netherlands. The Flanders-Netherlands Coordination Point Border Obstacles project is an elaboration of the recommendations of the governmental working group on border obstacles (working group Donner-Berx). Following this, it was decided at the Flanders-Netherlands government summit in January 2023 to give more priority to the potential of the border region and to submit a project proposal for a Coordination Point Border Obstacles.

Sustainable cooperation between governments and knowledge institutions
The coordination point will operate as a pilot for the next three years, developing a methodology for tackling border barriers. The project partners are the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Flemish Government, the Province of Zeeland, expertise centre ITEM Maastricht and Hasselt University. The project partners aim for a strengthened and sustainable cooperation between all layers of government and knowledge institutions in Flanders and the Netherlands to tackle practical border obstacles in the Flemish-Dutch border regions. A grant of over 1 million euros will be made available from the Interreg Flanders – Netherlands programme for this purpose.