Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Internationaal Recht vol:(2007) issue:2 pages:533-568
Benelux, the framework for official and political cooperation between Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg, will soon be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of its founding Treaty. The anniversary presents a unique opportunity for not only the three countries but also for Belgium’s regions and communities to shape the existing framework to meet contemporary needs and standards. This contribution will develop a legal analysis of how Benelux relates to the wider integration project constituted by the European Union. Subsequently, the institutional framework of Benelux and the subject matters currently addressed by it will be examined. Furthermore, how Benelux as a sub-regional grouping (or even alliance) of like-minded countries plays a role within the European Union will be explored. It has been frequently claimed that there is a need to increase the political profile of Benelux, in view of that, the contribution will conclude with recommendations on how its cooperative framework can be further strengthened.