Country Netherlands
Region European Union member states
Duration Start 1 February, 2020 till 30 June, 2020
Field of expertise Building More Effective Public Administration
Policy field(s) Inter-municipal co-operation
Intergovernmental relations
Inter-municipal co-operation
Institutional development
Funding Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Project code 11420
The wider objective of the project is assist the national government of the Netherlands in better facilitating information exchange and streamline intermunicipal coordination and cooperation amongst, Dutch local governments in their paradiplomatic relations with China.

The specific objectives of this project are to map and assess the network of stakeholders, their needs, and decision making processes of local governments in the Netherlands related to their paradiplomatic activities with China. The project thereby aims to respond to the objectives in the Dutch Cabinet's China Policy Paper of 2019. Accordingly, a fact finding and needs assessment study is carried out that focuses on issues that affect municipalities that are in contact with China in one way or another. In brief, the needs assessment study concerns scrutinising the needs of local and regional authorities and conveying such needs to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Besides mapping out the almost forty Sino-Dutch partnerships at local level, by assessing the opportunities and bottlenecks in decentralised partnerships with China, VNG International aims to further streamline coordination and inclusive information exchange (1) between the national government and local governments, and (2) amongst local governments themselves. Moreover, by means of nationwide knowledge exchange, VNG International will collect good practices and lessons learned and make them accessible to all Dutch municipalities.

The expected results of the project are:
(I) Increased and more inclusive information exchange between the national and local level governments, and increased inter-municipal cooperation on paradiplomatic activities with China;
(iI) Recognised opportunities for more joint action between all levels of government. To this end, from the summer of 2020 until the summer of 2021, five stakeholder meetings will be organised, in consultation with the municipalities and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
(III) An inclusive strategy on how international cooperation with China on the local level will be shaped, coordinated, and managed after the summer of 2021.