On 22 November 2016, mayors from the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion met in the Provincial Government Buildings in Maastricht to discuss increased cooperation in dealing with outlaw motorcycle gangs. Participants at this mini-conference put forward various different possibilities for administrative measures to tackle these gangs in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The meeting was organised as part of ‘Europe Calling! Maastricht Treaty 25th Anniversary’, which is addressing the future of Europe on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty.
The final agreement of the conference was set out by King’s Commissioner of the province of Limburg, Theo Bovens. “A common agenda is an important prerequisite for joint action,” said Bovens. “On this issue the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion wants to be a testing ground. On behalf of the Euroregion’s administration, a number of actions will be elaborated for a joint approach to dealing with criminal motorcycle gangs.”
According to the Commissioner, the idea is to form a kind of ‘Euregional RIEC’ (Regional Information and Expertise Centre). “In order to be able to start tackling the motorcycle gangs and then link up with a Benelux working group, together with North-Rhine Westphalia.”
The Limburg King’s Commissioner believes that the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion in particular has the possibility of coming up with a successful joint approach to the problem of motorcycle gangs. “This Euroregion, with so many different governments, spread over three countries and speaking three languages, is, after all, a kind of mini-Europe”, added Bovens. “In this mini-Europe we find it just that little bit easier to find common ground due to our proximity and a shared history. We therefore have a strong connection with the Benelux countries and also with North-Rhine Westphalia.”