Blog: One day in the Netherlands: smart villages and bioeconomy

Met dank overgenomen van C. (Corina) Creţu i, gepubliceerd op woensdag 30 augustus 2017.

Today was dedicated to the south of the Netherlands. A visit to a rural area that is also one of the most innovative regions of Europe.

Eersel and Diessen are two small towns in the Dutch Province of North-Brabant.

Alongside the King's Commissioner of that region, Wim van de Donk, and upon the invitation of the Dutch Member of the European Parliament Lambert van Nistelrooij, I spent most of the day discovering how "smart mobility" and bioeconomy can make a region stronger.

This was of special interest to me as it is at the heart of the "smart villages" initiative that my colleagues EU Commissioners Phil Hogan (agriculture and rural development), Violeta Bulc (Mobility and Transport) and myself have launched together.

"Smart villages" make full use of digital, telecommunication technologies, innovations and knowledge in general for the benefit of their inhabitants and businesses.

And this is what I saw in the south of the Netherlands today, projects called "smart connected" or "smart mobility" for instance, as well as investing in bioeconomy (the use of renewable biological resources from land and sea - such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms - to produce food, materials and energy).

I also participated in the launch event of "Let the stars shine". This is a common initiative of nine Members of the European Parliament, including Lambert Van Nistelrooj and Franc Bogovis who were there today. It is designed to highlight the added value of the EU and the results of its policies.

We need to improve the way we communicate on the achievements of cohesion policy as this has a direct link with the future negotiations on the future of EU finances and the future of Europe. And "Let the stars shine" aims to help communicate better on this.