Zeeuws-Vlaanderen: from shrinkage region to a region with borderless opportunities

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This research is about the region Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in the Netherlands. It is battling with a shrinking population and with that a loss of services. The goal of this research is to search for solutions to reduce shrinkage in the region, with a focus on cross-border relations. In this research representatives and/or councillors of the municipalities in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen are interviewed and the entrepreneurs in the region are contacted with a survey. The interviews showed that the labour market in the region needs to improve to keep and attract more young people to the region. And the survey showed that not many regional companies have employees from Belgium yet, but they do have cross-border relations with customers and trading partners. Based on these results, it is recommended, to reduce the shrinkage in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, that more firms should be attracted to the region, to make the region attractive for young jobseekers. In the meantime, municipalities can encourage the regional firms to enter more cross-border relationships and help employees who work across the border with the administrative burden that it carries with them. A possible follow-up study could focus on how the Belgian side looks at entering cross-border relations with Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen