This page gives an overview of the Benelux cooperation, objectives, its advantages and priorities for 2022
The pioneering role of the Benelux
The Benelux Union, founded in 1944, is a treaty-based intergovernmental organisation of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. The three pioneering member states foreshadowed the model for the European Union. The politico-economic union initially focused on custom barriers and ensuring free movement of persons, goods and services. Nowadays, the Benelux covers a wider range of topics, including sustainable development, security, energy, transport, etc. working towards its objectives to enhance cross-border cooperation and function as a living lab for Europe.
The Benelux can resort to four (legal) instruments:
Why climate cooperation within the Benelux:
The Benelux region shares its 'DNA'
Effects of climate change do not stop at the border
Combining forces makes for stronger action
Political assignment via the Benelux Talanoa Declaration of 2018
Three major advantages of Benelux climate collaboration
Shared transboundary problems require solutions on a regional scale.
With environmental problems, size does matter, and regional cooperation helps to build the capacity to tackle those problems.
On a regional scale, expertise can be brought together to gain more knowledge about regional problems and solutions to further the implementation of global conventions.
Why go regional?
Global conventions require regions to implement policies to build a sustainable future. Every region has different needs to meet its obligations. Collaboration on a regional scale is complementary to the global scale and can give an important contribution to the coordination of resources, sharing of knowledge and building of capacity.
On a regional scale, fewer states are involved in coming to an agreement. On top of that, a common culture, shared interests and geographical proximity increase the likelihood of a successful and far-reaching environmental agreement or partnership. This means that it is more practical to agree on common environmental problems.
Commitment to a regional agreement is higher than to global agreements, simply because the regional problems are visible. The dangers of climate change and the involvement of regional stakeholders give people a sense of urgency to act now. It gives people the feeling of ownership which increases motivation even more.
Top climate priorities for 2022
In 2022, the Benelux will i.a.
Organise a conference on clean air
Develop a Roadmap to stimulate cycling
Provide a platform to discuss the European Circular Economy Action Plan actions
Exchange information on extreme weather events
Dive into sustainable finance
Explore smart farming
- Benelux conference report on climate education (2019) (FR/NL)
- Benelux study Repairability (2018) (ENG)
- Benelux conference report: Learning to live within the borders of our earth! (2018)(FR/NL)
- Benelux climate adaptation exercises and workshops (2017) (FR/NL)
- Climate adaptation in the Benelux (2017) (FR/NL)
- The transition to a sustainable society: A Benelux challenge (2017) (FR/NL)
- Education for transition: A lever for sustainable change (2016) (FR/NL)
- Sustainable city agriculture in the Benelux (2013) (FR/NL)
- Sustainable use of wood for energy (2013) (FR/NL)
- Study on education on biodiversity through food (2013) (FR/NL)