On November 30, 2020, we had the pleasure to welcome more than 175 participants from the Euregio Meuse-Rhine to our second public consultation. The consultation was organised as a discussion between the speakers from Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine with several opportunities for the audience to interact and voice their opinions.
The audience came from across the Euregio, with a majority coming from Belgium (46%), and a quarter each from Germany (27%) and the Netherlands (26%). Almost 35% of the participants were completely new to Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine, nearly half of the stakeholder has been involved in several Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine projects.
After opening words from Theo Bovens, the Governor of the Province of Limburg, and a short conversation about the state of play between the moderator, Simone van Trier, and Mark Vos, the Coordinator of the programme, we turned our attention to the five themes of the preliminary draft programme:
- Industrial transition
- Greener society
- Healthier citizens
- Living and working across borders
Our speakers kindly introduced each topic via video:
Nicole Bollen (Regioambassadeur Zuid of the Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat and Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit) insights into the current programme period, introduced several Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine projects and offered insights into future perspectives. Andreas Machwirth (Gruppenleiter Außenwirtschaft at the Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen) highlighted the challenges and possibilities for the industrial transition. David Grzegorzewski (Director and Connector EU programme management & funding at Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen VLAIO) introduced the topics greener society as well as opportunities to improve citizen health; and Pascal Arimont (Member of the European Parliament from the German-speaking community in Belgium and vice-coordinator regional development of the European Parliament) emphasised the importance of transnational, cross-border cooperation.
In the following table-talk, moderator Simone van Trier and Senior Programme Manager Jean-Philippe Odeurs discussed where Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine is heading and reacted to the questions and comments of the audience.
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who contributed. All comments have been saved and will be discussed with our partners to finalise the draft.