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.
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.
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:
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.
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.