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Dutch News
More neighbourly consultation needed 6/30/2007
28 June 2007

THE HAGUE – The Netherlands and Belgium should focus less on their own interests and cooperate more when it comes to cross-border spatial planning projects.

Both countries continue to blindly champion only their individual interests in projects like the high speed rail line and the Iron Rhine, the Netherlands Institute for Spatial Research (RPB) concluded in its report on cross border projects in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Negotiations often devolve into "us-them confrontations" the researchers say. "Thinking nationally is still alive and well. Since Flanders and the Netherlands have until now mainly acted as competitors, negotiations are unnecessarily complicated and opportunities can be missed out on."

The RPB is urging for clearer agreements on large infrastructure projects, which should be set down in treaties. The agreements should include a clear time frame and objectives in order to ensure their effectiveness.

The researchers suggest that a periodic meeting of Dutch and Flemish ministers would be a good idea for discussing the major spatial planning projects.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news, Dutch news

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