1 Commissioner of the king, 4 deputies and 39 counsellors
Anita Pijpelink : Member of the Provincial Executive (deputy) for cross-border cooperation and European projects
265 million € budget
Zeeland is a Dutch province that literally lives up to its name: it really is land in sea.
A group of islands, separated from each other and the rest of the world by deep sea arms and connected by dykes, dams and the Delta-works. This unique location has a distinctive effect on the landscape, as well as on the character of the population, the economy and the Zeeland cuisine.
The provincial government of Zeeland focusses strongly on economic development, sustainability and innovation. The region is strong in process industry with a circular bio based economy, ports and logistics, recreation and tourism, energy, agriculture and agro food, fisheries and aquaculture. The Strait facilitates the North Sea Port, a port area that stretches from Zeeland to Belgium, serving as a central hub in Europe and at the same time having great impact on global trade.
Zeeland has always been very aware of the importance of overseas connections and international trade, now more than ever, in view of the changing relationships and developments within Europe.
Zeeland and cross-border cooperation
For Zeeland one of the most important reasons to realize cross-border projects is to exchange knowledge, know-how and best practices in order to find solutions together for the challenges we are all facing. Zeeland already has a long-standing tradition of cooperation with the Flanders region, and more recent cross-border connections with other European regions.
The members of the Provincial Executive have the ambition to link their own goals in the field of energy transition, climate adaptation, education and agriculture with European objectives. Cross-border cooperation often aims at jointly finding solutions for the same problems all regions are facing, such as maintaining healthcare facilities and rejuvenation of the aging population. Keeping or making the region attractive again for local inhabitants can be achieved by creating employment and education facilities as well as an attractive leisure and hospitality industry.
Zeeland and the Straits Committee
Zeeland is the first Dutch region that became member of the Straits Committee in Arras beginning 2020 and committed itself to its objectives. This choice was made first of all to continue and strengthen the long-standing relationships with regions such as East and West Flanders, Kent and Pas-de-Calais. Besides the regional and local authorities in Zeeland also ports, leisure companies, educational institutions and water councils see the importance of forming and maintaining strong cross-border relationships.
The objective of all Zeeland parties involved is to sustain and continue those precious partnerships and at the same time find new partners to jointly create opportunities for all regions that are already linked by their strong coastal character and maritime identity.
Common work themes of particular interest for Zeeland
Stimulate a thriving economy by supporting initiatives that build on complementarity, cooperation and knowledge exchange. Create strong cross-border networks with innovation clusters between local authorities, knowledge and research institutions and the private sector in fields with growth potential. Support the development of a strong and innovative transport and logistics sector, which guarantees smooth trade within Zeeland on the one hand, and with neighbouring areas and at international level on the other. Prepare Zeeland for the future by supporting digitization in the private or public sector and lifelong learning initiatives (including digital literacy).
Protect the shared natural environment and jointly develop answers to the climate change and at the same time create environmental innovation opportunities for the Straits Committee area. Develop and support joint cross-border initiatives to protect the wildlife and habitats especially of the coastline, natural habitats and terrestrial and marine biodiversity. Stimulate the exchange of research and knowledge, facilitate the implementation of projects and policy on water management and fight against drought, flooding and salinization. Reduce CO2 emissions by supporting joint cross-border initiatives on clean energy production and energy-efficient solutions, for example by providing energy-neutral homes for inhabitants. Accelerate the transition to low-emission transport and mobility solutions for freight and passenger transport. Facilitate cooperation in the field of research, knowledge development and the application of new production techniques in the agro-food sector for a faster transition to sustainable agriculture.
Support young people towards independence and greater cultural awareness by teaching life/work skills, fostering cultural exchanges among young people in the territory of Straits and improving their social inclusion/wellbeing. Improve access to quality education and the labour market. Promote active citizenship, civic participation and cultural awareness. Promote the exchange of best practices and encourage innovative projects on youth wellbeing, social inclusion and the road to independence.