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May 2014

The Netherlands as seen from Lille

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Some 280 km separate Lille from Amsterdam, two major neighbours at European scale. Other than the Paris-Roubaix cycling race, natural gas reserves, flowers and design – all in which the Netherlands excels – what do we know about this country?
Let’s take a look at the intrinsic connections between these two lands of the north.


Franco-Dutch meetings :

They will take place in Lille on 30 June and 01 July 2014 at the Lille 3 campus.
The central theme for this event will be: “Mobility and cooperation in the digital age.”
It will focus on the impact of digital tools in teaching and more particularly on the mobility of researchers and students.
The full programme is available here.


The city of Lille has been twinned with Rotterdam since 1958 :

This relationship has been officially renewed in 2008.
In 2010, the Tour de France kicked off in Rotterdam.
In 2014, on the 8th and 9th of July, Lille Metropole will host two stages of the 101st edition of the Tour de France.
A symbol of the biking revolution in Lille, following on the heels of its Dutch twin?


6% of exports from the Nord – Pas de Calais region are headed for the Netherlands :

Which makes it the No. 5 client for overall regional exports.
Our Dutch partners, however, are the No. 4 supplier with …  6% of imports into the Nord Pas-of-Calais  region (Source: Customs 2013).


Two companies are working with the biggest 3D printer in the world to build a house along the Amsterdam canal :

It is a world first. The project is expected to take 3 years and lead to the construction of a typical Amsterdam house called a “canal house”: the application of a modern technology to a traditional design. Beyond the feat in terms of construction, it is also a true research project, notably in terms of energy optimisation, one of the key themes of the Third Industrial Revolution  master plan for the Nord – Pas de Calais Region.

Find out more about the “canal house”.


The transfer of the Netherlands Institute library to Lille 3 :

This is now a done deal. Following the closing of the Netherlands Institute at the end of December 2013, its collection of books, which boasts some 8,000 works, has been integrated since the spring of 2014 into the collections of the Lille 3 University. Lille 3 was selected for several reasons: the fact that it already has had a collection of Dutch works in its possession since 1948, making it the oldest in France, but also because of its commitment to keep the collection whole and make it widely accessible, notably via digital means. This development will ensure a greater visibility for training and research in Dutch at Lille 3, and will reinforce the regional and cross-border dynamic in favour of promoting and learning the Dutch language.


100.000 passengers a year :

The brand new Thalys line connecting Amsterdam to Lille in 2 hours 40 minutes since 12 April 2014 expects to carry 100,000 passengers, including business travellers and tourists, by 2015. The objective is to attain 250,000 passengers next.
“A true train of unity connecting our great European cities, we are proud to add Lille to our network and to contribute thus to its development.” said Franck Gervais, CEO of Thalys International.


The “Babbelcafes” encounters


These meetings take place every Wednesday at the Cafe Morel, 31-33 place du Theâtre in Lille. Moderated by a member of the “Dutch Initiative” network, you can perfect your Dutch with a small group in a relaxed setting.


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