Welcome and Overview

Welcome to European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN)

The chemical industry is one of the key European industrial sectors. About one in three of all industrial employees in Europe are working in this sector; one-tenth of the entire industrial turnover is generated by chemical firms. These activities are embedded in the regions. The European chemical regions may differ in terms of size and other characteristics, but they all have to cope with a large variety of challenges to safeguard their competitiveness, such as the impacts of globalization, economic transformation, environmental issues, as well as the requirements of the EU chemicals policy.The European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) was originally started as an INTERREG IIIc project in 2004 with 13 member regions from 7 different European countries. The idea was to bring chemical regions from all over Europe together in order to better tackle the special challenges for these regions by exchanging information, exploring solutions for common problems and by speaking with a single voice.

Today the network has grown from a temporary project to a recognized European chemical stakeholder and a network full of chemical expertise. ECRN is a registered non-profit association under Belgian law and the network currently covers various European chemical regions, whose cooperation is supported by a Brussels-based secretariat.

As the sole regional representative, ECRN brought the voice of regions into the discussions within the European Commission’s “High-Level Group on the Competitiveness of the European Chemical Industry”. ECRN works together with European and regional chemical stakeholders and contributes to a range of policy areas from industrial policy, competitiveness, chemical regulation and REACH to skills, innovation, environment, and circular economy.

The network is always open for collaboration with new partners. Please feel free to contact us for further information!


The European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN) has the intention to create a greater awareness for the regional dimension with those involved in the shaping of policies in Europe.

The network gives access to experiences made in regional development of chemical regions between all relevant actors and creates synergies between “best practices” in dealing with the ongoing restructuring of chemical regions and the improvement of mainstream Structural Funds Programmes.

The ECRN is established as a legal entity under Belgian Law, ASBL and consists of various European chemical regions from all over Europe in which the chemical industry plays a leading determining role for economic performance, growth and employment:

  • Flanders, Belgium
  • Groningen and Drenthe, Netherlands
  • Limburg, Netherlands
  • Lombardy, Italy
  • Mazovia, Poland
  • Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
  • South-Holland, Netherlands
  • Ústí Region, Czech Republic
  • Wallonia, Belgium


The central objective of the ECRN is to promote regional aspects of the chemical industry and chemical policy in Europe. ECRN work is focusing on:

  • Improving regional development strategies in chemical regions
  • Maintaining competitiveness by fostering European cooperation of regional actors
  • Developing a European partnership of regional partnerships in chemical regions
  • Articulating common interests of chemical regions to the European institutions
  • Ensuring recognition of the ECRN as a genuine stakeholder in the debate on chemical policy

This involves among other things:

  • Exchange of experiences and information
  • Know-how transfer between regional administrations
  • Development of joint statements
  • Support for cooperation projects
  • Cooperation of chemical stakeholders at the European level