Vojvodina and the Dutch Gelderland a step closer to cooperation between the provinces

The representatives of the AP Vojvodina in Brussels participated in the conference about empowering sustainability in Arnhem, the capital of the largest Dutch province of Gelderland on 22-23 May 2019. The conference was held as part of the promotion of the results of Gelderland in the field of entrepreneurship, given that it was the winner of the 2019 European Entrepreneurial Region award by the Committee of the Regions. At the invitation of the hosts, in order to intensify cooperation with this Dutch province, the representatives of Vojvodina in Brussels held several important meetings during their two-day working visit.

Last year, the Vojvodina European Office in Brussels established cooperation with the House of the Dutch Provinces in Brussels. The province of Gelderland has emerged as the most desirable Dutch region to establishing cooperation with in several areas. “Good relations and intensive communication have been established with the province of Gelderland over the past year, and according to the Vojvodina European Office in Brussels, the cooperation between the two provincial governments and the relevant secretariats should be formalized in the coming period”, said Srđan Mačkić, Head of Office in Brussels.

Gelderland and Vojvodina have similar geographical features, and the main economic areas in both regions are agriculture and IT. Although Gelderland is a significantly more developed region, it is an excellent opportunity for institutions of Vojvodina to increase their know-how, skills and technology in many areas through the cooperation. In addition, the priority in the following will be to network small and medium-sized enterprises from Gelderland and Vojvodina, since Gelderland is one of the leading European regions in enhancing entrepreneurship and a good example of the synergy of the regional government, employers and citizens. This is the joint conclusion of the meeting with Ery Tijink, Director of International Cooperation of Gelderland, with whom the organization of a meeting between the two provincial delegations was discussed. Following up on that, a meeting with Rebecca Heye, Gelderland’s representative in Brussels has been planned to take place at the Vojvodina European Office in Brussels on 19 June.

During the visit, the representatives of Gelderland expressed their belief several times that because of the geographical similarities and economic predispositions, the two provinces had great potential for cooperation. Moreover, the conclusion was that the best example of  successful cooperation of our institutions was the established cooperation with the University of Wageningen. The opportunity was also used to talk to the representatives of Oost NL, which had jurisdiction over a wider region than the province of Gelderland. Furthermore, an agreement was reached to organize an event to promote Vojvodina, which was planned to take place in the second half of 2019.

During the conference, various domestic businessmen, i.e. entities enhancing the development of entrepreneurship were presented, and contacts and interests for networking were exchanged. Talks were also held with the representatives of Startup Europe Regional Network-SERN, and in the coming period, a proposal to enrol stakeholders from our region, i.e. exchange of information with the Office in Brussels will be made.