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Stefanie Dühr

Abstract

In this paper, the position of ‘peripheral regions’in the Netherlands is discussed from a European as well as from a Dutch perspective. In the context of an enlarged European Union, and a shift in orientation of regional policy towards strengthening the competitive position of all regions, peripheral regions are required to explore new policy responses. In the Northern Netherlands, this has led to a stronger emphasis on cooperation, both among Dutch provinces as well as with international partners, in an attempt to strengthen the economic performance and political standing of the region in national and international arenas. The rationale or connectivity of international cooperation strategies such as the Northern Development Axis may perhaps be secondary in comparison to the enabling power of such strategy-building in fostering cooperation and governance structures at regional and inter-regional level.