Randstad’s future under scrutiny

Former prime minister Wim Kok is to head a special commission set up to advise the government on the future organisational structure of the Randstad, reports the Telegraaf today. The Randstad is the urban conglomeration which includes the four main Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) and is the country’s economic motor.

The commission is to evaluate various analyses made on the weak international position of the region. These indicate that the Randstad performs less well in terms of employment and gross regional product per inhabitant than most other European metropolitan regions.
Kok was approached with the project by the home affairs ministry following discussions with the region’s four mayors and leaders of the four provinces that fall under the Randstad. The other members of the commission include the director of Schiphol airport Gerlach Cerfontaine, former Unilever chief and ‘governance csar’ Morris Tabaksblat and Yvonne van Rooy, former economic affairs minister and chair of Utrecht University.
The future of the Randstad has been under discussion for several years with calls in the past to merge the four provinces in the region into a single authority. The commission is expected to report back to the home affairs ministry by the end of the year, the Telegraaf said.

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