The Benelux is a politico-economic union of three neighbouring states in Western Europe:
|Name:||Kingdom of Belgium||Kingdom of the Netherlands||Grand Duchy of Luxembourg|
|Capital:||Brussels||Amesterdam||City of Luxombourg|
|Area:||30,528 sq km||41,543 sq km||2,586.4 sq km|
|Official Languages:||Dutch, French, German||Dutch, Frisian, Papiamento, English||Luxembourgish, French, German|
The name Benelux is formed from joining the first two or three letters of each country’s name: Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
The name was first used to name the customs agreement that initiated the union in 1944. It is now used more generally to refer to the geographic, economic and cultural grouping of the three countries.
In 1951, West Germany, France, and Italy joined these countries to form the European Coal and Steel Community, a predecessor of the European Economic Community (EEC) and today’s European Union (EU).
The main institutions of the Union are the Committee of Ministers, the Council of the Union, the General Secretariat, the Inter-parliamentary Consultative Council and the Benelux Court of Justice while the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property cover the same territory but are not part of the Benelux Union.
The Benelux General Secretariat is located in Brussels. It is the central administrative pillar of the Benelux Union. It handles the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of Economic Union and the various committees and working parties.