Benelux is а political, economic and customs Union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The history of its formation and development, current trends and prospects of further expansion. Rights and obligations of members. Signing the contract.
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Benelux (Benelux) - is the name of the political, economic and customs Union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Beginning of the formation of the Benelux was put to a currency agreement (October 21, 1943) and the customs Convention (September 5, 1944; entered into force in January 1948). February 3, 1958, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed in the Hague Treaty establishing the economic Union, which entered into force on 1 November 1960, after its ratification by the parliaments of the three countries.
The Treaty provided for the establishment of a single market of its participants, the free movement of labor, goods, services and capital between the three countries, coordination of their economic, financial and social policies, the performance of the participating countries as a whole in the field of external economic relations. The treaty was signed for 50 years and could be extended for the next 10 years. The States of the Benelux consultations on international and military matters, in particular on the production of new types of military equipment, training personnel of the armed forces, joint maneuvers. The Benelux countries were among the organizers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European economic community, the European Union.
The Supreme body of the Benelux is the Council of Ministers, in which decisions are made unanimously and are binding for all participants. The Council of the Benelux economic Union consists of representatives of ministries and departments of the three countries, supervises the work of sectoral and ad hoc commissions and executes the decisions of the Council of Ministers. Disputable matters shall be settled by Arbitration Commission. In the Economic and social Advisory Council composed of an equal number of representatives of associations of employers and trade unions. Administrative and organizational functions of the General Secretariat. Place of stay of the governing bodies of the Benelux - Brussels. In 2008 in the Hague signed an agreement on prolongation of the validity of the Treaty of 1958. Benelux - sub-regional intergovernmental organization representing the political, economic and customs Union in Western Europe, which includes three of the monarchy: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Has land borders with France and Germany. Name of the Union was formed from the initial letters of the names of each participating country. Originally it was used to refer to the Customs Union Benelux. Is one of the most populated areas of the world.
Integration processes in the Benelux countries began after the first world war.
The Treaty establishing the Belgium-Luxemburg economic Union (BLEU) was signed on 25 July 1921, and entered into force on may 1, 1922. He called for the elimination of customs duties, quantitative allocation and other barriers to trade between these countries, as well as the establishment of a single customs tariff in relation to third countries and the free circulation of services between Belgium and Luxembourg.
In 1930-1932's attempts to economic convergence BLEU and the Netherlands. In particular, 18 July 1932, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Convention, which envisages stabilization, followed by elimination of customs duties in mutual trade turnovers. However, the consequences of the economic crisis and the pressure of a number of countries led by the United Kingdom had a negative effect and the provisions of the Convention have not been implemented.
October 21, 1943, the emigration of the government of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are located in London, signed an exchange agreement to regulation of mutual payments in the postwar period, and strengthening the economic relations between them (entered into force may 24, 1946).
September 5, 1944 the governments of the three countries signed in London the Customs Convention, supplemented and revised by the Protocol of 14 March 1947, which came into force on 1 January 1948. From this date the trade between the Benelux countries was exempt from all duties and in respect of third countries was introduced single, the lowest in Western Europe external tariff.
In accordance with the Convention and the Protocol created the Administrative customs Council, the Council of the Economic Union, the Council of trade agreements, and in March 1947 in Brussels, established by the General Secretariat. The next step was the signing on 15 October 1949 Treaty on preliminary economic Union which provided for further liberalization of trade between the member countries through the elimination of quantitative and other restrictions, the coordination of foreign trade and currency policy.
In 1950-1953 years of integration processes in the Benelux countries slowed down in connection with the economic crisis that affected these countries.
24 July 1953 in the Hague three countries signed a Protocol on speeding up the process of coordination of economic and social policy.
9 December 1953, they signed a Protocol on the common trade policy in respect of imports and exports in trade with third countries. The signing of this Protocol was of great importance for the trade of imported goods within the Benelux countries. Later, the provisions of the Protocol on the unified trading policy were fully incorporated in the text of the Treaty on Economic Union Benelux.
8 July, 1954, was signed the Agreement on free movement of capital between the three countries, and in may 1955 - the Agreement on the gradual settlement of the agricultural policy.
5 may 1955 was created inter-parliamentary consultative Council of the Benelux.
In June 1956, signed a Protocol on the free movement of manpower and unified policy in the sphere of social insurance.
Since 1956, the Benelux countries worked together to conclude trade agreements with third countries.
With the development of the Benelux there was a necessity to formulate in a single document the methods and forms of cooperation and record the results. Creation of UES has accelerated this work. In connection with the emergence of a new international grouping Benelux countries it was necessary to define the future of their own Union, which led them to sign a Treaty on Economic Union on February 3, 1958. According to the Secretariat of the Benelux, the preservation of this Union, despite the creation of the EEC, which included all the three Benelux countries, motivated by the following considerations:
* elimination of the Benelux would undermine the results of many years of cooperation;
* the existence of the Benelux is a guarantee of stability for the three countries;
* small Benelux countries achieve more rapid and significant results in the framework of trilateral cooperation within the UES of Russia;
* gained experience in the creation of the Benelux Economic Union of great value for the implementation of the EEC Treaty;
* three small countries should be unity, to integrate in the Benelux EEC on the most profitable conditions.
In article 223 of the Treaty establishing the EEC agreed:
The provisions of this Treaty are not an obstacle for the existence and completion of regional unions between Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as between Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, insofar as the objectives of these regional unions are not attained by application of this Treaty.
25 March 1957, France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries signed the Treaty establishing the EEC. In mid-July 1957, began work on the draft Treaty on the economic Union of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The agreement was signed on February 3, 1958 in the Hague. At the same time, an Agreement was signed about the transition period.
Parliamentary debates in the ratification process revealed serious differences on the issue on the agricultural market, which delayed its entry into force until 1 November 1960. In the process of ratification of July 1, 1960, was liquidated control over the movement of persons between the Benelux countries. on 19 September 1960 was signed, and from 1 October 1963 Convention entered into force, which regulates the rights of citizens of the Benelux countries, staying on the territory of the other member countries. The Convention freedom of residence of citizens of one country in the territory of another country of the Union, in confirmation of the existence of means of existence in this country.
The activities of the Benelux Economic Union was the most active before the creation of the EEC, which since 1 January 1958 became all three countries. Subsequently many unsolvable within the Benelux problems were solved at the level of UES.
All obstacles to the free movement of goods between the three countries, including agricultural products, were eliminated by 1 July 1968 in the framework of the EEC. Free movement of goods, capital and services was reached by January 1, 1974. The great achievement of the Union is to pursue a common commercial policy towards third countries.
The main objectives of the Benelux are:
* free movement of goods, services, capital and persons, liquidation of the trade between the member States of customs duties, quantitative allocation, as well as other restrictions; removal of economic and financial barriers to the free circulation of services in the territory of Benelux; the removal of obstacles to the free movement of capital between the Benelux countries; free movement of citizens of the Benelux countries from one country to another without a passport and visas, permanent residence, employment, use of the social insurance system, without any discrimination, the application of the same tax system applicable to citizens of the country in whose territory the person resides (each of the parties guarantees its citizens the exclusive right to work on its territory in state institutions and in some occupations);
* coordination of economic, financial and social policies;
* conducting integrated foreign trade and foreign economic policy in relation to third countries, primarily the establishment of unified customs duties in respect of third countries.
Geography, demography and languages
Dutch and French are the official languages of the Benelux and its institutions. Out of a total population of 27.6 million people of the member States of 22.6 million (82%) live in the Netherlands and Flanders, where Dutch is the official language. In French-speaking Wallonia live 3.5 million (12.5 percent), while most of the Brussels-capital region (its population is 3.8%) speaks French, although formally region is considered to be bilingual. In Luxembourg (1,74%) are three official languages: French, German and Luxembourgish (West German, средненемецкий cultural dialect relating to the Moselle-Frankish). Together with the German community of Belgium is about 2% of the German-speaking inhabitants.
The Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers, consisting of three Ministers of foreign Affairs, is the highest authority (several meetings per year). He controls the fulfillment of the conditions of the Treaty establishing the Benelux and makes decisions within the framework of its Treaty powers: decisions, recommendations, guidelines, of the Convention.
At the meetings of the working groups meet sectoral Ministers. If the working group in a particular field of activity established by decision of the Committee of Ministers, its decisions have the same political and legal force, and that the decisions of the Committee of Ministers.
The Council of the Economic Union
The Council of the Economic Union is the Executive body that coordinates the activities of the different committees and subordinate to the Committee of Ministers.
On the basis of the Treaty establishing the Benelux were formed Commission and the special committees on different areas:
* foreign economic relations;
* monetary and financial issues;
* industry and trade;
* food and fisheries;
* customs and tax issues;
* social issues;
* free movement and settlement of persons;
* questions of justice, co-ordination of statistics;
* comparison of budgets of the state and non-state organs;
* small and medium-sized enterprises;
* tourism, municipal planning;
* cooperation in the administrative and judicial spheres.
At the head of the General Secretariat of the standing Board of the secretaries General; consisting of a Secretary General (according to the contract he must be a national of the Netherlands) and his two deputies. The political role of the General Secretariat has increased significantly. Since 1975, the Collegium of the secretaries-General has received the right of legislative initiative in the adoption of directives.
The consortium services are entrusted with special tasks, for example in the field of trademarks and design.
Inter-parliamentary Advisory Committee
Inter-parliamentary consultative Council consists of the members of the Parliament: on 21 from Belgium and the Netherlands and 7 of Luxembourg. If their appointment is taken into account the degree of influence of political trends in the three countries. The Board adopts recommendations for the governments of participating countries. The Council is authorized to solve not only economic issues, but also issues of political cooperation.
benelux economic contract
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