In September 2016, the Interreg Steering Group for the Rhine-Waal Euroregion approved the Dynamic Borders cross-border project.
Dynamic borders offer agrifood and tourism opportunities
The municipalities of Weeze, Goch, Bergen, Gennep, Boxmeer and Cuijk have joined forces in the Interreg Dynamic Borders project to stimulate the agrifood and tourism sectors. The Land van Cuijk Regional Office for Tourism, the Land van Cuijk and North Limburg Industrial Circle, Agrobusiness Niederrhein e.V., Niederrhein Tourismus GmbH and the Maasduinen and Venlo Tourism Platform (formerly Leisure Port Foundation) were involved in the project as sponsors, facilitators and contractors. Smaakparels (North Limburg), Goei Leven (Land van Cuijk) and Genussregion Niederrhein were added later.
One project, three goals
The first goal was to set up a cross-border, inter-local agrifood platform, which ultimately attracted around 77 members from Dutch and German companies. Besides network meetings on topics such as fertiliser, drought and potato cultivation and several company visits, the platform successfully managed to connect companies. The aim was to have the companies help each other develop sustainable and environmentally friendly technologies across borders. Future Farming, a cross-border meeting for young farmers, had to be postponed twice and was eventually cancelled altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic. Students from ROC de Leijgraaf used a food truck to serve self-designed sandwiches made with local produce at various events in the six municipalities. Ten thousand bags with seeds of typical regional wildflower species were made and distributed as giveaways to underline the region’s connectedness.
The second goal of the project was to attract young people to the region. To that end, the municipality of Bergen hired an internship mediator to work across borders. The plan to cooperate with the existing internship agency in Boxmeer. Sadly, this did not work out because the internship agency changed its focus, opting to focus more on the mediation of Dutch interns to Dutch companies, which complicated internationalisation. Nevertheless, in almost two years, the internship mediator placed 47 interns for short internships at Dutch and German companies. Also, a dozen or so staff exchanges took place between the six municipalities on both sides of the border. For up to five days, staff got acquainted with the neighbouring country’s activities, working methods, and language. A network of companies, schools, Border Information Points and other training institutions was established during the project. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was impossible to mediate cross-border placements in the last 13 months of the project. From the project point of view, an analysis of cross-border placement was made, which will serve as a tool for future projects with a similar focus.
The third goal was tourism in the project region. Besides agrifood, tourism is also an important economic sector for the six municipalities. An extensive package of measures was established to attract more tourists. The existing route network was expanded with ten new, themed routes, and five e-bike charging points were installed: four on the Dutch and one on the German side. Various multi-day tourist packages were developed, which could be booked through 2-Land-Reisen (Niederrhein Tourismus), and an overview map of nodes for the project region was developed. The focus was on the culinary aspect, healthy eating and agritourism, ensuring a clear profile. Children were not left out: a colouring and puzzle book served as a playful introduction to the project region. For more information about the tourist offering and the colouring and puzzle book, visit the Dutch and German project website: www.dynamicborders.eu.
The coronavirus pandemic caused delays, postponement and cancellation of meetings and networking events in the last 13 months of the project, and regular meetings of the steering committee and working groups were unable to proceed. These were all factors that negatively affected some of the project’s objectives.
This initiative resulted in a total investment of €676,831.50 in the Rhine-Waal Euroregion over four years. Half of the funds were made available by the European Union from the Interreg V-A – Germany-The Netherlands programme.
The project was funded with €484,611.75 as part of the Interreg V-A – Germany-The Netherlands and co-financed by the EU, the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The municipalities of Bergen, Boxmeer, Cuijk, Gennep, Goch and Weeze and SMEs from the project region, contributed €192,219.75. The project was supported by the INTERREG Joint Secretariat of the Rhine-Waal Euroregion.
1.10.2016 - 31.3.2021
Socio-cultural and territorial cohesion in the programme area
Stichting Leisure Port, Niederrhein Tourismus GmbH, Gemeente Bergen (L.), Gemeente Gennep, Gemeente Boxmeer, Gemeente Cuijk, Stadt Goch, Regionaal Bureau voor Toerisme Land van Cuijk (Stichting Regionaal Bureau voor Toerisme Land van Cuijk), Industriele Kring Land van Cuijk en Noord-Limburg, Agrobusiness Niederrhein e.V., Partnergruppe KMU (D/NL)(alt), Partnergruppe KMU (D/NL)(neu),
|Agrobusiness Niederrhein e.V.||0,00 €|
|Industriele Kring Land van Cuijk en Noord-Limburg||0,00 €|
|Stichting Leisure Port||0,00 €|
|Gemeente Boxmeer||23.745,04 €|
|Partnergruppe KMU (D/NL)(alt)||0,00 €|
|Gemeente Gennep||23.745,04 €|
|Gemeente Cuijk||23.745,04 €|
|Niederrhein Tourismus GmbH||0,00 €|
|Regionaal Bureau voor Toerisme Land van Cuijk (Stichting Regionaal Bureau voor Toerisme Land van Cuijk)||0,00 €|
|Partnergruppe KMU (D/NL)(neu)||29.297,95 €|
|MWIDE NRW||64.603,97 €|
|Gemeente Bergen (L.)||23.745,04 €|
|EFRE / EFRO||299.091,67 €|
|Gemeinde Weeze||21.860,56 €|
|Provincie Limburg||32.301,99 €|
|Stadt Goch||23.745,04 €|
|Provincie Noord-Brabant||32.301,99 €|