During the first half of 2022, the Changing Role of Europe Research Group has been busy with various initiatives around the theme of ‘Europe in the Municipality’. For example, a six-part series in our Global Gossip podcast was published, a live talk show was broadcast from the Auditorium and, as the icing on the cake, the Inspiration Café Brussels & the Town Hall was organised on 2 June.

Professor Mendeltje van Keulen and special guest speaker Tom de Bruijn opened the inspiration café. Tom was a councillor of the municipality of The Hague, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the EU. Based on his experience in these different roles, he told how the European and local levels of government interact.

The opening was followed by sub-sessions on the subjects of ‘Europe - Awareness in the Town Hall’ and ‘Europe: ATM, Investment Opportunity or Wasted Effort?’, which also focused on the role of SMEs.
We would like to thank all our guests for attending. We really enjoyed the discussions with each other and are grateful for everyone's input during the workshops. 

Would you like to watch or listen to one of these activities? Below is an overview of all available media.

Talk show - Where is Europe in the municipal elections?

You can find the live report of the entire talk show, broadcast on 9 March 2022 on Youtube.
The guests were: Fenna Pols (Europe Decentralised Centre of Expertise), Iris Ferreni (Province of South Holland) and Marieke van Doorn (D66 Councillor, The Hague) 

Series of episodes of the Global Gossip podcast about Europe at local level

  • MEP Caroline Nagtegaal (VVD) on the role of Europe in municipalities, with main guest Caroline Nagtegaal. Talking to an MEP about the municipal elections, isn’t that strange? Not as far as we are concerned. Some 70% of the policies made in the European Union trickle down to the municipal level. Caroline is active in her hometown of Rotterdam and in the European arena. Listen to this episode.
  • Migration in municipal politics: Who takes responsibility and who ducks it? With columnist and lecturer Gert-Jan Geling as the main guest. 
    In this episode, we talk about the European migration crisis and how it is affecting municipalities in the Netherlands. According to Gert-Jan, we need to think about the future of migration because, in times of geopolitical tensions and climate change, refugee flows will always exist. Listen to this episode.
  • Lobbyist Iris Bouwers on tensions in agriculture and ambitions from Brussels. With Iris Bouwers as the main guest. Brussels has many ambitions for a greener future. Although they bring opportunities and possibilities, at the same time they create an accumulation of rules and regulations that make working in agriculture difficult. We talk to Iris Bouwers about finding a balance between policies that keep farmers happy and policies that achieve European goals. Listen to this episode.
  • MEP Kim van Sparrentak (GroenLinks) on the housing crisis from a European perspective. With Kim van Sparrentak as the main guest. There is a housing crisis in the Netherlands. In the current election period, every party has an opinion on the subject. Although ‘housing’ is not a competence of the European Union, the influence of Brussels policy on this issue is considerable. We talk about it with MEP Kim van Sparrentak. Listen to this episode
  • Delegate Tjisse Stelpstra on circular economy and the European Green Deal at local level. With Tjisse Stelpstra as the main guest. Why should you, as a province or a municipality, be active in Brussels? According to Tjisse Stelpstra, delegate for Drenthe and active in the European Committee of the Regions, Brussels ‘Soon makes you realise that we cannot solve everything ourselves in this country.’ During the discussion, we zoom in on the energy transition and circular economy. Listen to this episode.
  • Young people in politics: is ‘Europe’ closer than the municipality? With Jens Bosman and Tom Scheepstra as the main guests. We talk to young people in politics: Jens Bosman of DWARS (GroenLinks) and Tom Scheepstra of CDJA (CDA). What does a day at such a political youth organisation look like? What can young people achieve in politics and what do they consider important? In this episode, we talk about young people's views on the relationship between local, national and European levels. Listen to this episode.

The podcast series, talk show and inspiration café were co-financed by a communication grant from the European Commission in the Netherlands.