On Tuesday evening, The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the Minister-President of Wallonia, Elio Di Rupo, announced a new Dutch-Walloon roadmap for the next two years, outlining how they will collaborate on a number of policy areas.
After their meeting in The Hague, both heads of government announced they had agreed to broaden their cross-border cooperation in areas such as agriculture, public health, employment, research and innovation, the environment, regional planning, and mobility.
Both governments will also establish an ‘exchange structure’ which would meet once a year. Their objective would be to solve border issues related to land-use planning and the environment, as well as share key lessons learned during the major floods of July 2021.
There will also be a continued collaboration to improve knowledge in health, research and innovation.
Beyond bilateral cooperation, both men highlighted the challenges currently facing Europe, the most pressing of which is the war in Ukraine, which has forced the European Union to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil resources and, more generally, has expedited the European energy transition.
They also underlined the need for a more ambitious climate strategy and the strengthening of European defence within the frameworks of the EU and NATO.
The two heads of government also shared their views on the European Unions’ rules of economic governance and its trade policy, two subjects on which they have tended to disagree on due to their polar political persuasions.