Ministers from Flanders and Germany meet to discuss common challenges
Ministers from the government of Flanders and from Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region met this week to discuss common challenges such as labour market integration and radicalisation
Refugee crisis on agenda
North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is the most populous of the constituent states that make up Germany and includes four of the country’s largest cities: Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Essen.
The first contacts between Flanders and NRW took place last November, when Bourgeois and his NRW counterpart, Hannelore Kraft, expressed the intention to strengthen ties. The meeting this week covered eight areas of co-operation, including labour market integration and radicalisation – topics which, as in Belgium, are the responsibility of Germany’s constituent states. The two governments also discussed the Ijzeren Rijn rail link between Antwerp and Mönchengladbach, chemical industry strategy, health and welfare, energy and transport.
“We have profited greatly from an exchange of knowledge with our neighbours,” Kraft said. “Both of our regions are confronted with the same challenges, such as how to cope with the refugee crisis and integration into the labour market.”
Photo: Minister-president Geert Bourgeois meets with his NRW counterpart Hannelore Kraft
population of Belgium in millions of people, with 6.2 million living in Flanders.
number of state reforms that have resulted in the federal system as it is today.
number of years for which the federal House of Representatives and the Senate are elected.