Benelux

Overview

Overview

Flag of Belgium

Political System

Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy in which the king is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government in a multi-party system. Decision-making powers are not centralised, but divided between 3 levels of government: the federal government, 3 language-based communities (Flemish, French and German-speaking) and 3 regions (Flanders, Brussels Capital and Wallonia). Legally they all are equal, but have powers and responsibilities for different fields. Brussels is, together with Luxembourg City and Strasbourg, one of the three official seats of the European institutions. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Belgium’s economy in 2016 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.5 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.5 %) and industry (16.7 %).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 72% of Belgium’s exports (Germany 17%, France 15% and the Netherlands 11%), while outside the EU 6% go to the United States and 2% to both India and China.

In terms of imports, 63% come from EU Member States (the Netherlands 16%, Germany 13% and France 9%), while outside the EU 8% come from the United States and 4% from China.

Belgium in the EU

European Parliament

There are 21 members of the European Parliament from Belgium. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Belgium

Council of the European Union

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Belgian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn’t have a permanent, single-person president (like, e.g., the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country’s government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Belgian presidencies:

Jan-Jun 1958 | Jan-Jun 1961 | Jan-Jun 1964 | Jan-Jun 1967 | Jan-Jun 1970 | Jan-Jun 1973 | Jul-Dec 1977 | Jan-Jun 1982 | Jan-Jun 1987 | Jul-Dec 1993 | Jul-Dec 2001 | Jul-Dec 2010

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Belgium to the European Commission is Marianne Thyssen, who is responsible for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a “representation”.

Commission representation in Belgium

European Economic and Social Committee

Belgium has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

European Committee of the Regions

Belgium has 11 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Belgium also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representativesbased in Brussels. As Belgium’s “embassy to the EU”, its main task is to ensure that the country’s interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Belgium contribute and receive?

Member countries’ financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country’s economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn’t aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of Belgium’s finances with the EU in 2016:

  • Total EU spending in Belgium: € 7.333 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Belgian gross national income (GNI): 1.74 %
  • Total Belgian contribution to the EU budget: € 3.611 billion
  • Belgian contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.86 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Belgium

The money paid into the EU budget by Belgium helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries – like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Belgium benefits from EU funding.

 

 

The Netherlands is a low-lying country with around a quarter of its territory at or below sea level. Many parts of the Netherlands are protected from flooding by dykes and sea walls and much of the land has been reclaimed from the sea. The Netherlands has a long coastline with the North Sea and borders Belgium to the south and Germany to the east.

The most important sectors of the Netherlands’ economy in 2012 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.7 %), industry (19.4 %) and wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (18.6 %).

The Netherlands’ main export partners are Germany, Belgium and France, while its main import partners are Germany, China and Belgium.

Capital: Amsterdam

Geographical size: 41 540.4 km²

Population: 16 730 348 (2012)

Population as % of total EU population: 3.3 % (2012)

GDP: € 599.338 billion (2012)

Official EU language(s): Dutch

Political system: parliamentary constitutional monarchy

EU member country since: 1 January 1958

Seats in the European Parliament: 26

Currency: Eurozone member since 1 January 1999

Schengen area member? Yes, Schengen Area member since 26 March 1995.

Presidency of the Council: the Netherlands has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 11 times between 1960 and 2004. The next time will be in 2016.

The Netherlands in the EU

European Parliament

There are 26 members of the European Parliament from the Netherlands. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in the Netherlands  Nederlands

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Dutch government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn’t have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country’s government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Dutch presidencies:

Jul-Dec 1960 | Jul-Dec 1963 | Jul-Dec 1966 | Jul-Dec 1969 | Jul-Dec 1972 | Jul-Dec 1976 | Jan-Jun 1981 | Jan-Jun 1986 | Jul-Dec 1991 | Jan-Jun 1997 | Jul-Dec 2004 | Jan-Jun 2016

More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by the Netherlands to the European Commission is Frans Timmermans, who is First Vice-President, in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a “representation”.

Commission representation in the Netherlands

European Economic & Social Committee

The Netherlands has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

Committee of the Regions

The Netherlands has 12 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

The Netherlands also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As the Netherlands’ “embassy to the EU”, its main task is to ensure that the country’s interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does the Netherlands contribute and receive?

Member countries’ financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country’s economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn’t aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of the Netherlands’ finances with the EU in 2012:

  • Total EU spending in the Netherlands: € 2.124 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Dutch GNI: 0.35 %
  • Total Dutch contribution to the EU budget: € 4.173 billion
  • Dutch contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.69 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in the Netherlands

The money paid into the EU budget by the Netherlands helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries – like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how the Netherlands benefits from EU funding.

Practical information

Overview

Overview

Flag of Luxembourg

Political system

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy (Grand Duchy) with a head of government – the prime minister – and a head of state – the Grand Duke – who has only formal rights. The government exercises executive power. General elections take place every 5 years. 60 members are elected to a single-chamber legislative body, the Chamber of Deputies. The country is divided into 4 electoral regions, 12 administrative cantons and 105 communes. 12 of the communes have city status, the largest being Luxembourg City. Luxembourg City, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, is one of the three official seats of the European institutions. Location on the EU map

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Luxembourg’s economy in 2016 were the financial and insurance activities (27.2 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (17.1 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (15.3 %).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 83% of Luxembourg’s exports (Germany 23%, Belgium 17% and France 15%), while outside the EU 3% go to both Switzerland and the United States.

In terms of imports, 77% come from EU Member States (Belgium 29%, Germany 24% and France 10%), while outside the EU 7% come from the United States and 6% to China.

Luxembourg in the EU

European Parliament

There are 6 members of the European Parliament from Luxembourg. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in LuxembourgFR

Council of the EU

In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Luxembourg government, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The Council of the EU doesn’t have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.

During these 6 months, ministers from that country’s government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.

Dates of Luxembourg presidencies:

Jan-Jun 1960 | Jan-Jun 1963 | Jan-Jun 1966 | Jan-Jun 1969 | Jan-Jun 1972 | Jan-Jun 1976 | Jul-Dec 1980 | Jul-Dec 1985 | Jan-Jun 1991 | Jul-Dec 1997 | Jan-Jun 2005 | Jul-Dec 2015

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The President of the European Commission is Jean-Claude Juncker, from Luxembourg.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a “representation”.

Commission representation in LuxembourgSearch for available translations of the preceding linkFR•••

European Economic & Social Committee

Luxembourg has 5 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.

European Committee of the Regions

Luxembourg has 5 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.

Permanent representation to the EU

Luxembourg also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Luxembourg’s “embassy to the EU”, its main task is to ensure that the country’s interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Luxembourg contribute and receive?

Member countries’ financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country’s economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn’t aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

Breakdown of Luxembourg’s finances with the EU in 2016:

  • Total EU spending in Luxembourg: € 1.788 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Luxembourg gross national income (GNI): 5.08 %
  • Total Luxembourg contribution to the EU budget: € 0.311 billion
  • Luxembourg contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.88 %

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Luxembourg

The money paid into the EU budget by Luxembourg helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries – like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.

Find out more about how Luxembourg benefits from EU funding.

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