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To four municipalities in stead of 21; Eindhoven is the fourth municipality of the Netherlands with more than 400.000 inhabitants.

Fifteen years after it led to a disaster for one of his predecessors, mayor John Jorritsma is again aiming for a major reorganization in the region Brainport Eindhoven. If it is up to the first citizen of Eindhoven, there have to come four municipalities in South-East Brabant in stead of the current 21. He said that in his New Year’s speech.

gemeenten Eindhoven plusWith such a reorganization, the surface of Eindhoven will quadruple and grow to more than 400.000 inhabitants, which would make Eindhoven bigger than Utrecht.

Mayor Rein Welschen was the last one to clearly aim for that goal. But he didn’t feel supported by the province and the government, after which he quit his position. Forces are currently different.

Jorritsma engages “the situation around Nuenen” as a lever for the operation. That municipality should go together with Son en Breugel or Eindhoven, according to the province. “It is a good moment to reconsider the whole governance in our region. I notice am not alone in this, when I speak with the mayors, aldermen and councillors in the region.” The consultations in the 21 municipalities are progressing constructively according to Jorritsma, but also a little too slowly, he thinks. “We see each other in every day governing, overall governance, steering committees, work spaces, board tables, working groups and so on. The cooperation is huge, but the question is whether this will be efficient and effective for the future and challenges of this urban region.”

Jorritsma sees “three to four municipalities, with each a strong own profile”: one urban municipality, consisting of the current Urban Area minus Helmond. Then Helmond as centre city of De Peel. And one or two rural municipalities, with the A2 municipalities Heeze, Cranendonck and Valkenswaard and the current Kempen municipalities.

According to Jorritsma there are several benefits that come with a big reorganization. “Apart from democratic legitimacy and administrative efficiency there is also a strategic interest. At the Hague tables where the funds are distributed there isn’t one seat ready for the Mainport region and the fifth city of the Netherlands. We need more critical mass to effectively link the economical claims from the National Action agenda Brainport with a national entrenched position. Size Does Matter.”

Studio040 reported the responses in Veldhoven and Son: