BeNeLux certainly does have something to do with BeNefit and Luxury – the benefits of Luxembourgian banking and the luxury of Belgian chocolates and Dutch endless tulip fields of Keukenhof! The three neighboring countries share the common name and history for more than half-a-century now. And, before EURO currency came into circulation in 2002, Belgium and Luxembourg even shared the same FRANC currency…
History of Benelux
The treaty establishing the Benelux Customs Union was signed on September 5, 1944, by the governments in exile of the three countries in London, and entered into force in 1948. It ceased to exist on November 1, 1960, when it was replaced by the Benelux Economic Union after a treaty signed in The Hague on February 3, 1958. It was preceded by the (still existent) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, established on July 25, 1921.
The founding of BENELUX contributed to the founding of the European Union (EU), though the immediate precursors to the EU were founded later (the ECSC in 1951 and the EEC in 1957). Historically, the three countries were also founding members of these organizations, together with West Germany, France, and Italy.
Today though, when traveling in Belgium, Netherlands or Luxembourg, you will find BENELUX all over different places and even under the ground: The Benelux Tunnel in Holland!
BENELUX has become a brand of an important historic significance which accumulates a number of regional specialties or inventions such as Horta’s Art Nouveau in architecture and Adolph Sax’s Saxophone in music. Benelux is also home to the famous Belgian chocolates and Belgian beers, the tastiest Dutch Gouda cheese, and the glorious Vianden Castle.
The history of Benelux is the history of the three nations which were led to found the basis for the larger Union of the European Community.