On 10 February to 16 February 2019, a study visit to the Netherlands was organized in the framework of the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative for a selected group of local economic development officials from the Eastern Partnership region.
The aim of the study visit was to deepen the knowledge of participants on local economic development through presenting respective good practices in the Netherlands. The focus of the visit was the institutional and organisational set-up, financing, policy development and project development. 30 representatives of best performing M4EG Acting members took part in this activity.
During the 5-day visit, the participants were introduced to the basics of the Dutch governmental system, including information on the different levels of government and their responsibilities, as well as the role and place of other actors in the system. They also got familiarized with the concept of ‘triple helix’, which stresses the role of cooperation between public organisations, private parties and knowledge institutions in promoting economic development.
Through a number of meetings with key local development stakeholders in the Netherlands, the M4EG Signatories got acquainted with best practices in a range of pertinent topics, including smart specialisation theory and its practical application; the impact of tourism on local economic development; the role and importance of regional development agencies in stimulating economic development at a regional level; and ways of stimulating municipal cooperation.
Each of the participants of the visit has formulated some take-away points to be shared with their peers and followed up on in their home countries.
The full report on the study visit can be found here