The Benelux Union (Dutch: Benelux Unie; French: Union Benelux; Luxembourgish: Benelux-Unioun) is a politico-economic union of three neighbouring states in western Europe: Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The name Benelux is formed from joining the first two or three letters of each country's name – Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg – and was first used to name the customs agreement that initiated the union (signed in 1944). It is now used more generally to refer to the geographic, economic and cultural grouping of the three countries.
The main institutions of the Union are the Committee of Ministers, the Council of the Union, the General Secretariat, the Interparliamentary Consultative Council and the Benelux Court of Justice while the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property cover the same territory but are not part of the Benelux Union.
The Benelux General Secretariat is located in Brussels. It is the central administrative pillar of the Benelux Union. It handles the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Economic Union and the various committees and working parties.
and largest agglomeration
|Official languages||Dutch, French|
|Other official languages|
of contracting states
|German, Luxembourgish, West Frisian, English, Papiamento|
• Customs union treaty signed
|5 September 1944|
• Customs union in effect
|1 January 1948|
• Renewal signed
|17 June 2008|
• Renewal in effect
|1 January 2010|
|74,657 km2 (28,825 sq mi)|
|29.3 million (2018)|
|390.5/km2 (1,011.4/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
• Summer (DST)
A Benelux Parliament (originally referred to as an "Interparliamentary Consultative Council") was created in 1955. This parliamentary assembly is composed of 21 members of the Dutch parliament, 21 members of the Belgian national and regional parliaments, and 7 members of the Luxembourg parliament.
In 1944, exiled representatives of the three countries signed the London Customs Convention, the treaty that established the Benelux Customs Union. Ratified in 1947, the treaty was in force from 1948 until it was superseded by the Benelux Economic Union. The treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union (Benelux Economische Unie/Union Économique Benelux) was signed on 3 February 1958 in The Hague and came into force on 1 November 1960 to promote the free movement of workers, capital, services, and goods in the region. Under the Treaty the Union implies the co-operation of economic, financial and social policies.
In 2017 the members of the Benelux, the Baltic Assembly, and three members of the Nordic Council (Sweden, Denmark and Finland), all EU-member states, sought intensifying cooperation in the Digital Single Market, as well as discussing social matters, the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union, the European migrant crisis and defence cooperation. Relations with Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom was also on the agenda.
The Benelux Union involves an intergovernmental co-operation.
The unification of the law of the three Benelux countries is mainly achieved by regulations of its Committee of Ministers, that only bind the three states, but are not directly applicable in their internal legal orders. They only become legally valid after having been incorporated into national law, with the exception of Belgium. The Belgian Court of Cassation decided in 1971 that any self-executing treaties have priority over laws by the Belgian parliament.
The Treaty establishing the Benelux Union has provided the Committee of Ministers with the following legal instruments: decisions, conventions, recommendations and directives.
The Committee of Ministers can promulgate decisions in the fields for which it has competence - those fields are explicitly set down in the Union Treaty or the additional conventions. When the Committee of Ministers adopts a decision, it immediately becomes binding on the three governments. For a decision to be also applicable to the citizen, it must be transposed into national law.
The Union Treaty is not exhaustive. For this reason, Article 19 of the Treaty provides that the Committee of Ministers may conclude additional conventions. These therefore constitute extensions of the Union Treaty. They are submitted to the national parliaments for approval in keeping with the ratification procedure applied in each of the Member States. Thus there are a large number of Benelux conventions in a wide range of subject matters.
In 1965, the treaty establishing a Benelux Court of Justice was signed. It entered into force in 1974. The Court, composed of judges from the highest courts of the three States, has to guarantee the uniform interpretation of common legal rules. This international judicial institution is located in Brussels.
The Benelux is particularly active in the field of intellectual property. The three countries established a Benelux Trademarks Office and a Benelux Designs Office, both situated in The Hague. In 2005, they concluded a treaty establishing a Benelux Organisation for Intellectual Property which replaced both offices upon its entry into force on 1 September 2006. This Organisation is the official body for the registration of trademarks and designs in the Benelux. In addition, it offers the possibility to formally record the existence of ideas, concepts, designs, prototypes and the like.
|Kingdom of Belgium||Kingdom of the Netherlands||Grand Duchy of Luxembourg|
|Coat of arms|
|Official local name||Koninkrijk België
Royaume de Belgique
|Koninkrijk der Nederlanden||Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg|
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
|Area||30,528 km2||41,543 km2||2,586.4 km2|
|Capital city||Brussels||Amsterdam||Luxembourg City|
|Largest urban areas||Brussels : 2,120,000
Antwerp : 1,200,000
Liège : 749,110
Ghent : 594,582
Charleroi : 522,522
|Amsterdam : 2,431,000
Rotterdam : 1,181,284
The Hague : 1,054,793
Utrecht : 656,342
Haarlem : 424.601
|Luxembourg City : 180,000|
Esch-sur-Alzette : 33,939
Differdange : 24,805
Dudelange : 20,003
Ettelbruck : 8,544
|Form of government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Current heads of state and government||Philippe (Monarch)
Charles Michel (Prime Minister)
Mark Rutte (Prime Minister)
Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister)
|Official languages||Dutch, French, German||Dutch
Regional: West Frisian, Papiamento, English
|Luxembourgish, French, German|
|Main religions||58% Roman Catholic
16% Other Christian
2% Other religion
24.4% Roman Catholic
|68% Roman Catholic|
3% Other Christian
|GDP (nominal)||$454.687 billion||$738.419 billion||$57.423 billion|
|GDP (nominal) per capita||$40,107||$43,603||$101,994|
|GDP (PPP)||$494.121 billion||$832.623 billion||$55.730 billion|
|GDP (PPP) per capita||$43,585||$49,166||$98,987|
|Real GDP growth rate||1.30 %||1.80 %||4.40 %|
US dollar[note 1]
|Coat of arms|
|Official local name||Aruba||Land Curaçao/ Pais Kòrsou||Sint Maarten|
|Area||180 km2||444 km2||34 km2|
|Form of government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Sovereign state||Kingdom of the Netherlands|
|Current heads of state and government||Willem-Alexander (Monarch)
Evelyn Wever-Croes (Prime Minister)
Eugene Rhuggenaath (Prime Minister)
Leona Marlin-Romeo (Prime Minister)
|Official languages||Dutch, Papiamento||Dutch, Papiamento, English||Dutch, English|
|Main religions||75.3% Roman Catholic
4.9% Protestant 
1.7% Jehovah's Witness
1.2% Other Religion
|72.8%, Roman Catholic
33.1% Roman Catholic
4.1% Other Christian
|GDP (nominal)||$2.664 billion||$3.159 billion||$1.059 billion|
|GDP (nominal) per capita||$25,751||$18,360||$18,360|
|GDP (PPP)||$2.516 billion||$3.128 billion||$0.3658 billion|
|GDP (PPP) per capita||$36,015||$15,000||$36,327|
|Real GDP growth rate||2.40 %||3.60 %||3.60 %|
|Netherlands Antillean guilder||Netherlands Antillean guilder|
The Treaty between the Benelux countries establishing the Benelux Economic Union was limited to a period of 50 years. During the following years, and even more so after the creation of the European Union, the Benelux cooperation focused on developing other fields of activity within a constantly changing international context.
At the end of the 50 years, the governments of the three Benelux countries decided to renew the agreement, taking into account the new aspects of the Benelux-cooperation – such as security – and the new federal government structure of Belgium. The original establishing treaty, set to expire in 2010, was replaced by a new legal framework (called the Treaty revising the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union), which was signed on 17 June 2008.
The new treaty has no set time limit and the name of the Benelux Economic Union changed to Benelux Union to reflect the broad scope on the union. The main objectives of the treaty are the continuation and enlargement of the cooperation between the three member states within a larger European context. The renewed treaty explicitly foresees the possibility that the Benelux countries will cooperate with other European member States or with regional cooperation structures. The new Benelux cooperation focuses on three main topics: internal market and economic union, sustainability, justice and internal affairs. The number of structures in the renewed Treaty has been reduced and thus simplified. Five Benelux institutions remain: the Benelux Committee of Ministers, the Benelux Council, the Benelux Parliament, the Benelux Court of Justice, the Benelux Secretariat General. Beside these five institutions, the Benelux Organisation for Intellectual Property is also present in this Treaty.
Article 38 : le français et le néerlandais sont les langues officielles des institutions de l'Union Benelux
Dit alles onder een nieuwe naam: de Benelux Unie.
Le 17 juin 2008, un nouveau Traité Benelux était signé. Désormais, la coopération va se concentrer sur trois thèmes-clés: le marché intérieur & l’union économique, le développement durable et la justice & les affaires intérieures et tout ceci sous un nouveau nom:l’Union Benelux.
D’Benelux-Unioun besteet aus dem Kinnekräich Belsch, dem hollännesche Kinnekräich an dem Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg.
13th Street Universal (France: 13ème Rue Universal, Spain: Calle 13 and Poland: 13 Ulica) is a television channel specialising in action, suspense and police procedural programs and movies. It is owned by NBCUniversal and was launched in France on 13 November 1997, later followed by Germany on 1 May 1998, Spain in 1999 and the Netherlands on 30 May 2007.13th Street Universal was added to the Foxtel platform in Australia on 15 November 2009 and a new timeshift channel 13th Street+2 was added in 2010. In that same year, on 13 September, the channel was launched in Poland. The channel changed its logo and added Universal to its name on 13 October 2010.13th Street Universal officially closed in the Netherlands and Flanders on 1 July 2016.2016 TCR BeNeLux Touring Car Championship
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The 2018 TCR Europe Touring Car Series was the third holding of TCR Europe, and first held as a standalone series. The series began at the Circuit Paul Ricard in May and ended at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in October.As part of an deal with the series' promoters, at five of the seven events, the 2018 TCR BeNeLux Touring Car Championship series was held which was its third edition.TCR Europe Series also saw the introduction of the DSG Challenge for cars equipped with Direct-shift gearbox.24Kitchen
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Despite the Benelux reference in the title, the program was not broadcast in Luxembourg or Wallonia.
On May 9, 2011 it was announced that Benelux' Next Top Model would not be renewed for a third season. The Dutch production team would continue with a domestic fifth season in the Netherlands, again under the title of Holland's Next Top Model. Topmodel did not return with a third individual season after the merge resumed.BinckBank Tour
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Discovery (formerly Discovery Channel) is a Dutch television channel airing in the Netherlands. Its primary target is men aged 25–39.Cable television has a very high penetration in the Netherlands and Belgium, and Discovery is available on virtually every platform. It has enjoyed relatively high ratings for several years; in 2003 it had 1.5 percent share of all viewing, which had risen to 1.8 percent in 2008.Discovery Benelux
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Dutch Charts, GfK Dutch Charts, MegaCharts is a chart company responsible for the composition and exploitation of a broad collection of official charts in the Netherlands, of which the Single Top 100 and the Album Top 100 are the most known ones. Dutch Charts are also part of GfK Benelux Marketing Services.Fourth constituency for French residents overseas
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Glénat Editions SA is a French publisher with its head office in Grenoble. Their products include comic albums and manga in France, Benelux, and in the past Spain; it was founded by Jacques Glénat. The Benelux subsidiary, Glénat Benelux N.V., is located in Brussels, Belgium. The Switzerland subsidiary, Glénat Editions (Suisse) SA, has its headquarters in Nyon. The Spanish subsidiary had its head office in Barcelona.Les Disques du Crépuscule
Les Disques du Crépuscule is an independent record label founded in Belgium. The label was founded in 1980 by Michel Duval and Annik Honoré. It also had a prominent associated sublabel, Factory Benelux. Both are now run by former employee James Nice.
"Crépuscule" translates as "twilight", with most of the label's catalogue numbers prefixed by the letters TWI.Liberty Global
Liberty Global is a multinational telecommunications company with headquarters in London, Amsterdam and Denver. It was formed in 2005 by the merger of the international arm of Liberty Media (in turn a spin-off of TCI, an American cable-television group) and UGC (UnitedGlobalCom). Liberty Global is the largest broadband internet service provider outside the US.Liberty Global had an annual revenue of $15 billion in 2017, with operations in 10 countries and 26,700 employees by 2017. Its cable services pass 44.3 million homes, with 21 million customers or 44.5 million RGUs (video, internet, and voice subscribers). In 2016, Liberty Global was ranked 88th on the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies list.Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux
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Sci-Fi Channel had previously been available in Benelux in the 1990s. Failing to attract audiences, the channel withdrew from Benelux and Scandinavia at the end of 1998, focusing on their UK service instead.An HD-simulcast started through UPC Netherlands on 1 May 2013.It officially ceased broadcasting on 1 July 2016.TCR Touring Car
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