Infobox Geopolitical organization
name = Benelux
linking_name = Benelux
map_caption = Location of Benelux in Europe
languages_type = Official languages
languages = Dutch and French, non-official: Frisian, German and Luxembourgish.
Capitals = Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg
religion = Roman-catholicism and protestantism
Area = 76,657 km²
population = 27.2 million; Dutch: 23.5 million, French: 4 million, German and Luxembourgish: 500,000
Currency = euro
official_website = http://www.benelux.be/
The Benelux is an economic union in
Western Europethat includes three neighboring monarchies, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg ("België/Belgique/Belgien - Nederland - Lëtzebuerg/Luxembourg/Luxemburg"), which lie in the north western European region between Franceand Germany. The name is formed from the beginning of each country's name; it was possibly created for the Benelux Customs Union, ["Revue de l'Institut International de Statistique" (1947) Vol. 15, No. 1/4. ( page 43] although according to " The Economist" it was coined somewhat earlier, in August 1946, by that newspaper's correspondent in Belgium. [ [http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11293544 Going Dutch] ] However, it is now used in a more generic way. The Benelux region has a total population of about 27,598,666 and occupies an area of approximately 74,640 km² (28,819 sq mi). Thus, the Benelux has a population density of 370/km² (958/sq mi).
Benelux Parliament(originally referred to as "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 Luxembourgish parliament.
The treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union ("Benelux Economische Unie/Union Économique Benelux") was signed
February 3, 1958and came into force in 1960 to promote the free movement of workers, capital, services, and goods in the region. Its secretariat-general is located in Brussels. The unification of the law of the three Benelux countries is mainly achieved by regulations of its Council of Ministers, that only bind the three states, but are not directly applicable in their internal legal orders. There is also a large number of Benelux conventions in a wide range of subject matters.cite web|url=http://www.benelux.be/en/bnl/bnl_instellingen.asp|title=Benelux in a nutshell|publisher=General Secretariat of the Benelux|accessdate=2008-02-03]
In 1965, the treaty establishing a Benelux Court of Justice was signed. It entered into force in 1975. 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 institutionis 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 September 1, 2006.
Geography, Demographics and Languages
In 2000, Belgium and the 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. [cite news |url= http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=441938&campaign=rss&source=soccernet&&cc=5901 |title= Benelux countries launch 2018 World Cup bid |work=
ESPN|date= June 27, 2007|accessdate= 2007-10-29]
The treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union will expire in 2010. It will be replaced by a new legal framework, which has been signed on June 17th 2008. 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 name of the "Benelux economic union" will change to [http://www.benelux.be/en/act/act_nieuwVerdrag.asp Benelux union] to reflect this broader scope.
* [http://www.benelux.be/en/home_intro.asp Benelux Economic Union] - Official site
* [http://www.benelux-parl.org Benelux Parliament] - Official site
* [http://www.courbeneluxhof.info Benelux Court of Justice] - Official site
* [http://www.boip.int/en/homepage.htm Benelux Office for Intellectual Property] - Official site
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