Working visit Provincial Executive to Brussels: “Zuid-Holland in Transition”

The Provincial Executive (PE) of the Province of Zuid-Holland and the regional partners paid a working visit to Brussels on 20 and 21 March 2017. The central theme of this visit was the regional investment programme with the overarching theme ‘Zuid-Holland in transition’. Zuid-Holland makes a sizeable contribution to the European challenges in the field of modernization regarding the industry, energy, and climate transition.

"As a region, the Province of Zuid-Holland delivers a broad-based programme and invests from a 'triple helix' approach in its realization. It is important for the national government and Europe to join in as well, because we can jointly take advantage of the full potential of the opportunities for growth, employment and sustainability", says Regional Minister Rogier van der Sande.

Zuid-Holland in Transition

Just like the Province of Zuid-Holland, many European regions are in transition. This increasingly calls for European cooperation and joint solutions. The common thread during the various meetings was how Zuid-Holland may cooperate with and learn from transitions in other regions, and how the European Commission can support and accelerate the transition. During the working visit, the delegation from Zuid-Holland could exchange views on the European developments that affect
"Zuid-Holland in transition" with Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, European regions and lobby organizations, as well as a delegation from the Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels.

Smart and clean industry

To be part of the European summit, Zuid-Holland must continue to innovate in the economy, sustainable energy, smart and clean mobility and by improving the ties between our cities and their surroundings. Based on these four approaches, our region has drawn up a regional investment programme and identified more than one hundred concrete projects. Like us, many European regions are working on the modernisation of their traditional industries. The so-called Smart Specialization strategy for regional innovation is an important European vehicle in that respect. The key is for sectors to work together on creating solutions for the social challenges of Europe and to cooperate cross-border on this. The Rotterdam Authority and our Greenport are two examples that actively engage in our efforts to make Zuid-Holland cleaner, smarter, and more sustainable. With their presence, we responded directly to the call, to have the business community initiate the approach.

Fieldlabs in Zuid-Holland

In Zuid-Holland we imagine, create, test and sell innovations for a strong and viable metropolitan delta. This is how Zuid-Holland contributes to innovative developments in Europe. The European Union is an important partner for companies, knowledge institutions and authorities, because via the European networks, collaborations with other regions can be started, so as to jointly face social European challenges. In a panel discussion with various members of the European Commission, experts of European networks and regions, the municipality of Delft and TNO talked about the Zuid-Holland testing grounds and the added value of these testing grounds to the major European challenges. The Zuid-Holland Fieldlabs are a crucial part of our innovation in ecosystem. The approach presented received wide support, arrangements were made to work together on a European scale as well, and to share knowledge.

Sustainable transport along the European corridor

“You have to be in Brussels to see the opportunities”, was a common reaction within our delegation. Zuid-Holland was acclaimed for its inspiring examples and the practical way in which we shape the cooperation with companies and knowledge institutions. We concluded that we should quickly start follow-up actions, for example, to make use of the opportunities that the trans-European Corridors offer. It is precisely pooling regional power, translating this into integral projects and mixing different forms of financing - such as in the efforts aimed at making the inland waterway transport cleaner - that ties in with Brussels’ desire to achieve a sector-overarching approach. Different Directorates General (DGs) indicated during the visit that they would like to put this into practice with us. In short: Zuid-Holland is being embraced as the "real-life testing ground".


Opening Speech King's Commissioner mr. J. Smit
Green Circle
Fieldlabs Zuid-Holland
Industrial Modernisation
Smart and Sustainable Transport
The Port of Rotterdam in Transition
Key message M. Dosso
Speech Regional Minister mrs. A. Bom