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The BENELUX UNION (Dutch : Benelux
Benelux
Unie; French : Union Benelux) is a politico -economic union of three neighbouring states in western Europe
Europe
: Belgium
Belgium
, the Netherlands
Netherlands
, and Luxembourg
Luxembourg
.

The name Benelux
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.

In 1951, these countries joined West Germany
West Germany
, France
France
, and Italy
Italy
to form the European Coal and Steel Community , a predecessor of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
(EEC) and today's European Union
European Union
(EU).

The main institutions of the Union are the Committee of Ministers, the Benelux Parliament , the Council of the Union and the Secretariat-General, while the Benelux
Benelux
Office for Intellectual Property and the Benelux Court of Justice cover the same territory but are not part of the Union.

The Benelux
Benelux
General Secretariat is located in Brussels
Brussels
. It is the central administrative pillar of the Benelux
Benelux
Union. It handles the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Economic Union and the various committees and working parties.

CONTENTS

* 1 Politics * 2 Law

* 3 List

* 3.1 Countries * 3.2 Associated territories

* 4 Sports * 5 Renewal of the agreement * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

POLITICS

Benelux
Benelux
Prime Ministers Mark Rutte
Mark Rutte
(Netherlands), Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg) and Yves Leterme
Yves Leterme
(Belgium) in The Hague
The Hague
on 24 May 2011

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
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 Ratified in 1947, the treaty was in force from 1948 until it was superseded by the Benelux
Benelux
Economic Union. The treaty establishing the Benelux
Benelux
Economic Union ( Benelux
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.

LAW

The Benelux
Benelux
Union involves an intergovernmental co-operation.

The unification of the law of the three Benelux
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
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
Benelux
is particularly active in the field of intellectual property . The three countries established a Benelux
Benelux
Trademarks Office and a Benelux
Benelux
Designs Office, both situated in The Hague
The Hague
. In 2005, they concluded a treaty establishing a Benelux
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.

LIST

Main article: Comparison of the Benelux countries

COUNTRIES

KINGDOM OF BELGIUM KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG

FLAG

COAT OF ARMS

OFFICIAL LOCAL NAME Koninkrijk België Royaume de Belgique Königreich Belgien Koninkrijk der Nederlanden Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg Großherzogtum Luxemburg Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Luxembourg

COMMON NAME Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg

Population
Population
(2015 estimate) 11,323,973 17,246,591 562,958

AREA 30,528 km2 41,543 km2 2,586.4 km2

POPULATION DENSITY 363.6/km2 407.8/km2 194.1/km2

CAPITAL CITY Brussels
Brussels
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City

LARGEST URBAN AREAS Brussels
Brussels
: 1,830,000 Antwerp
Antwerp
: 1,200,000 Liège
Liège
: 749,110 Ghent
Ghent
: 594,582 Charleroi
Charleroi
: 522,522 Amsterdam
Amsterdam
: 2,431,000 Rotterdam
Rotterdam
: 1,181,284 The Hague
The Hague
: 1,054,793 Utrecht
Utrecht
: 656,342 Eindhoven
Eindhoven
: 419,045 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City : 180,000 Esch-sur-Alzette
Esch-sur-Alzette
: 33,939 Differdange
Differdange
: 24,805 Dudelange
Dudelange
: 20,003 Ettelbruck
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
Charles Michel
(Prime Minister) Willem-Alexander
Willem-Alexander
(Monarch) Mark Rutte
Mark Rutte
(Prime Minister) Henri (Monarch) Xavier Bettel
Xavier Bettel
(Prime Minister)

MAIN LANGUAGES Dutch , French , German Dutch , West Frisian Luxembourgish , French , German

MAIN RELIGIONS 58% Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
16% Other Christian 5% Islam
Islam
2% Other religion 49.2% Non-Religious 24.4% Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
15.8% Protestant
Protestant
4.9% Islam
Islam
68% Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
3% Protestant
Protestant
3% Other Christian 2% Islam
Islam

GDP (nominal)

$454,687 million $738,419 million $57,423 million

GDP (NOMINAL) PER CAPITA $40,107 $43,603 $101,994

GDP (PPP)

$494,121 million $832,623 million $55,730 million

GDP (PPP) PER CAPITA $43,585

$49,166 $98,987

REAL GDP GROWTH RATE 1.30 % 1.80 % 4.40 %

CURRENCY Euro
Euro
Euro
Euro
US dollar Euro
Euro

MILITARY PERSONNEL 37,500 46,500 1,510

LABOUR FORCE 5,279,000 7,884,000 265,800

ASSOCIATED TERRITORIES

ARUBA CURAçAO SINT MAARTEN

FLAG

COAT OF ARMS

OFFICIAL LOCAL NAME Aruba
Aruba
Land Curaçao/ Pais Kòrsou Sint Maarten

Population
Population
(2015 estimate) 112,162 148,406 33,609

AREA 180 km2 444 km2 34 km2

POPULATION DENSITY 575.21/km2 344/km2 1110/km2

CAPITAL CITY Oranjestad Willemstad
Willemstad
Philipsburg

FORM OF GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

SOVEREIGN STATE Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands

CURRENT HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT Willem-Alexander
Willem-Alexander
(Monarch) Mike Eman
Mike Eman
(Prime Minister) Willem-Alexander
Willem-Alexander
(Monarch) Eugene Rhuggenaath (Prime Minister) Willem-Alexander
Willem-Alexander
(Monarch) William Marlin (Prime Minister)

MAIN LANGUAGES Dutch ,English Papiamento Dutch , Papiamentu , English Dutch , English

MAIN RELIGIONS 75.3% Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
4.9% Protestant
Protestant
1.7% Jehovah\'s Witness 1.2% Other Religion
Religion
72.8%, Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
6.6% Pentecostal
Pentecostal
3.2% Protestant
Protestant
3% Adventist 41.9% Protestant
Protestant
33.1% Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
5.2% Hindu 4.1% Other Christian

GDP (NOMINAL) $2,664 millions $3,159 millions $1,059 millions

GDP (NOMINAL) PER CAPITA $25,751 $18,360 $18,360

GDP (PPP) $2.516 billions $3.128 billions $0.3658 billions

GDP (PPP) PER CAPITA $36,015 $15,000 $36,327

REAL GDP GROWTH RATE 2.40 % 3.60 % 3.60 %

CURRENCY Aruban florin Netherlands
Netherlands
Antillean guilder Netherlands
Netherlands
Antillean guilder

SPORTS

In 2000, Belgium
Belgium
and the Netherlands
Netherlands
jointly hosted the UEFA European Championship . In June 2007, representatives of the three countries announced they would bid, as a single political entity, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup .

RENEWAL OF THE AGREEMENT

The Benelux
Benelux
Union office in Brussels
Brussels

The Treaty between the Benelux
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
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
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
Benelux
countries will cooperate with other European member States or with regional cooperation structures. The new Benelux
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
Benelux
institutions remain: the Benelux
Benelux
Committee of Ministers, the Benelux
Benelux
Council, the Benelux
Benelux
Parliament, the Benelux Court of Justice, the Benelux
Benelux
Secretariat General. Beside these five institutions, the Benelux
Benelux
Organisation for Intellectual Property is also present in this Treaty.

SEE ALSO

* Low Countries
Low Countries
* Inner Six
Inner Six
* United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands
* Visegrád Group
Visegrád Group
* EU Med Group

REFERENCES

* ^ "Révision portant sur le traité de 1958" (PDF) (in French). 2008. Article 38 : le français et le néerlandais sont les langues officielles des institutions de l'Union Benelux
Benelux
* ^ A B Peaslee, Amos Jenkins; Xydis, Dorothy Peaslee (1974). International governmental organizations. BRILL. p. 165. ISBN 978-90-247-1601-2 . Retrieved 4 September 2011. * ^ International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
Statistics * ^ "Over de Benelux" (in Dutch). Benelux. Retrieved 2015-02-09. Dit alles onder een nieuwe naam: de Benelux
Benelux
Unie. * ^ "A propos du Benelux" (in French). Benelux. Retrieved 2015-02-09. Le 17 juin 2008, un nouveau Traité Benelux
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. * ^ " Benelux
Benelux
Treaty of Economic Union - Belgium-Luxembourg- Netherlands
Netherlands
". * ^ Revue de l'Institut International de Statistique (1947) Vol. 15, No. 1/4, page 43. However, according to The Economist
The Economist
, it was coined in August 1946 by that newspaper's correspondent in Belgium ("Going Dutch". The Economist. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2012. ). * ^ https://www.urm.lt/default/en/foreign-policy/lithuania-in-the-region-and-the-world/regional-cooperation/intergovernmental-cooperation-of-the-baltic-and-the-benelux-countries * ^ "Cass. 27 mei 1971, Franco-Suisse Le Ski". Pasicrisie. I: 886. 1971. * ^ " Benelux
Benelux
in a nutshell". General Secretariat of the Benelux. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008. * ^ "Algemene voorstelling van het Benelux-Gerechtshof". Benelux-Gerechtshof. Retrieved 2016-05-10. * ^ Archived 4 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
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Special
Eurobarometer 393 (The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?")" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 2 February 2016. * ^ A B C D E F G "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund . April 2016. * ^ A B C D E F G "GDP (current US$)" (PDF). World Development Indicators . World Bank
World Bank
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Central Intelligence Agency
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International Monetary Fund
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World Bank
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Saba
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Bonaire
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