Britain’s loss is Europe’s gain
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe (working together as the Northern Netherlands) are to receive 438 million euros from the European Funds for Regional Development and the Just Transition Fund. The money is intended to be used in the period 2021 to 2027, and has been obtained thanks to intense lobbying by the three Provinces working in tandem. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Sander de Rouwe, a Deputy at the Province of Friesland, hopes that the money will go towards equaling development in the North and South of the Netherlands. The projects that the money will be used to support will go towards this goal: for example the high-speed ‘Lelylijn’ train service linking Groningen and Friesland with the Randstad.
The Just Transition Fund is an EU fund designed to help regions adapt to energy transition. The Northern Netherlands’ economy has been underpinned by gas extraction for several decades (with the NAM company, owned by Shell and Exxon Mobil making hundreds of millions of euros in the process), and the new funds should go towards diversifying the Northern economies.
Contributions from the European Funds for Regional Development are likely to mostly be spent in Friesland and Drenthe. Unfortunately it seems likely that they will be used as old-fashioned private sector stimulus: hoping to ‘inspire innovation’ in the small and medium sized business sectors. Some of the money will also be used to push forward with sustainable energy production.