The Benelux aims to increase the prosperity and well-being of the populations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg through improved inter-country collaboration. Benelux collaborates on the basis of an annual plan, which is incorporated in a four-year cooperative work program. The current plan for 2018-2022 was adopted by the ministers of foreign affairs of the three countries at their meeting in February 2018.
Within the framework of the plan, the parties aim to enhance cooperation in several key areas such as security, justice, education, science, and technology. They also intend to promote trade and investment between them. On top of that, they want to reduce barriers to labor, goods, services, capital, and information across their borders.
One of the most important aspects of the plan is its focus on youth employment and skills development. The partners believe that investing in young people's skills will help them get better jobs and boost economic growth. Therefore, they plan to collaborate with universities and colleges in all three countries to improve curricula and training programs so they are aligned with the needs of employers.
Another important topic is security and defense. All three countries share a common history of violence and terrorism, which has had a negative impact on trade and investment. However, there is still hope: after years of inaction, their governments have finally started to cooperate on security issues.
Benelux, also known as the Benelux Economic Union, the French Union Economique Benelux, or the Dutch Benelux Economische Unie, is an economic union formed by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg with the goal of achieving total economic integration through the free movement of people, goods, capital, and services. The union was founded on 7 March 1950 when these three countries joined together to combat Communism and protect their shared interests.
The name "Benelux" comes from the languages spoken in these countries: Belgian (Dutch), French, and Luxemburgish. They form a linguistic enclave within Europe because of their shared history of speaking German, Flemish, or French. Together, they are the only members of the European Union that do not lie within the EU's inner circle of European nations. However, since forming a customs union in 1971, they have taken part in most European policies without voting individually.
In 2013, the three countries had gross domestic products of $1690 billion, $2870 billion, and $6400 million respectively. Belgium is ranked as the 4th largest economy in the world by GDP, while France and Luxembourg rank 5th and 6th respectively. However, the United States remains the largest economy in terms of total value with a GDP of $19.6 trillion. The EU as a whole ranks as the 11th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $19.7 trillion.
Benelux Economic Union: Benelux, also known as the Union Economique Benelux in France or the Dutch Benelux Economische Unie in the Netherlands, is an economic union formed by Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg with the goal of achieving total economic integration by ensuring free movement of people, goods, capital, and services. The union was founded on 7 March 2000, when Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg signed a treaty establishing the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). This replaced the EEC, which had been established in 1957 but had lost popularity after joining the European Community in 1973.
Free-trade areas: A free-trade area (FTU) is an economic zone where two or more countries agree to reduce or eliminate all tariffs and other trade barriers between them. In contrast to trade agreements that focus on specific sectors such as agriculture, energy, or industrial products, FTUs cover all industries. Most FTUs are composed of two or more countries that already have free trade agreements with each other. However, some countries may want to create an FTU even though they do not have any free trade agreements yet by signing a letter of intent. These letters are usually not ratified by the involved parties until after they have created an FTU through another channel.
In Europe, most large-scale FTUs exist between EU member states. However, there are also few free zones within EU countries.
Belgium (BE), the Netherlands (NL), and Luxembourg are the Benelux Member States of the European Union (EU). The word "Benelux," derived from the first two letters of each country's name, initially referred to a 1948 customs union. In 1951, these three countries signed a military treaty known as the Benelux Treaty Network (TTN). In 1954, they established the Western European Union (WEU), which became the NATO Alliance in 1949. In 1967, Belgium and Luxembourg joined the EU while the Netherlands remained outside.
The EU is an economic alliance with a common market where most goods and services can be traded between member states. It also has a political body called the European Council that consists of the heads of state or government of each member nation and is chaired by the prime minister of Belgium. The EU was founded in 1950 after World War II when Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland formed a trade association to compete against the United States and other nations. Today, these countries account for 50% of global industrial output!
In 2007, Britain announced its intention to leave the EU, and in 2016, the UK actually did so. So now there are only eight EU memberships: Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands. Luxembourg is not included on this list because it is too small to have its own government agency.