Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau commit to closer cooperation between Benelux and France

In the margins of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders - in name of the Benelux - and French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau signed a declaration opening the way to a closer cooperation between the Benelux and France, in particular, the Grand East and Haut de France regions.

Similar to the cooperation existing since 2008 with the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, this signature confirms the commitment of the Benelux to be an open house and to cooperate with its neighbours in order to facilitate trans-border cooperation.

Belgium chaired the Benelux in 2018 and looks back with satisfaction on all progress made. This year confirmed the will of our three countries to cooperate more closely, at the level of the Benelux institutions as well as politically. This determination resulted in joints visits abroad and consultations at all levels ahead of European meetings. The first meeting of the Benelux Youth Parliament, followed by a presentation of its conclusions to the Benelux Parliament will also be remembered. Let us also recall the signature of a reinforced police cooperation agreement and many other initiatives aimed at progressing on the path of narrower cooperation in the fields of energy and circular economy. Lastly, 2018 was also the occasion for the Benelux institutions and representatives of the economic world to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the institution in presence of their Majesties.

In view of the Brexit and many upcoming challenges, this narrow cooperation will remain essential. The Luxembourgish presidency can count on our full support.