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Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    An element of the theme of the VNG 2018 ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference in Maastricht is the necessity for Dutch politicians and administrators to push existing boundaries. In many cases this will involve a national border, which is closer in the region than in the national administrative center in The Hague. More than half of the twelve Dutch provinces have national borders, so cross-border cooperation is a regular phenomenon. National or EU regulations and subsidies may help to realize policy goals that are found important at a regional or local level, but when policy crosses national borders in practice it is also confronted with other ‘European’ boundaries. If there are incomprehensible, impracticable or conflicting rules, there is tension between common European policy and Dutch decentralization. Therefore this essay focuses on the control that the European Union has as an administrative challenge. It first discusses the shaky European consciousness and then the actions taken to break this vicious circle.


Dr. Mendeltje van Keulen
Dr. M. van Keulen is lector Europese Studies bij de Haagse Hogeschool. Van 2011 tot 2017 was zij griffier Europese Zaken bij de Tweede Kamer.

    Reading the most recent and most revealing book of Rinus van Schendelen leads to the conclusion that lobbying is not the strongest side of the Netherlands, which is rather strange for a small country with an external orientation that goes back for centuries. As one of the (six) founding fathers of European cooperation the Netherlands could not hold this special position in the EU. The money-driven attitude of the Netherlands may be profitable short-term, but is harmful for the position of the country and for its decentralized authorities (municipalities and provinces). The Dutch political scientist Rinus van Schendelen is well known for his long years of investigation into ‘lobbying’, but what in fact can be called public affairs (PA). In his older work Van Schendelen discusses PA mainly as a managerial, instrumental, Machiavellian means for steering private and public interests. In his new book he further develops this approach by investigating processes which can contribute to the use of PA instruments for sustainable effects. The new book clearly shows that nowadays the intelligent use of social media is a necessary supplement to the intelligent use of traditional PA instruments. Because of the influence of social media an adequate training of PA professionals is urgently needed in social psychology and other relevant disciplines to prevent floor tourists and other adventurers entering the PA scene.


Dr. Ed Figee
Dr. E.L. Figee is van huis uit journalist en promoveerde in 2017 aan de Universiteit Twente. Hij werkte van 1979 tot 2011 nagenoeg onafgebroken in de Haagse politieke arena, aanvankelijk als regionaal parlementair redacteur en vanaf 1995 als Haags (en Brussels) adviseur voor Oost-Nederland. Daarnaast participeerde hij wereldwijd in missies van VNG International voor het revitaliseren van lokale democratieën (veelal in post war countries).

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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