Nijmegen (population 152,000) lies at the extreme eastern edge of the Netherlands; the nearest city in Germany, Kleve (50,000), is similarly remote in relation to major cities.

Nijmegen is itself part of the bigger Arnhem Nijmegen City Region, a vast metropolitan area (720,000). The region is flanked by the Randstad conglomeration in the west, the Flemish Diamond to the south and the Ruhr to the east.

The region is responsible for implementing national objectives at the local level, as well as responding to regional demands. It has the ambition of becoming the second biggest economic area in the Netherlands after the Randstad by 2020.

Nijmegen, Kleve and the surrounding municipalities have increasing involvement, thanks partly to closer economic ties and the migration of Dutch citizens to Germany. The large educational establishments at Nijmegen's Heijendaal campus are attracting a growing number of German students. In addition, the former military air base at Weeze in Germany has developed over a short period into a regional airport, which is also important for the Netherlands. The number of destinations and passengers is increasing constantly, and approximately half of the passengers are Dutch.