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The Benelux Union: A Laboratory for European Integration

Foreign policy, Security and Defence
Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:00 - 21:00

Venue: Benelux General Secretariat  |  City: Bruxelles, Belgium

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy - Brussels (YPFP) and the Board of Secretaries-General of the Benelux Union invite YPFP members (become a member) to the Benelux General Secretariat for a special conversation with Mr Thomas Antoine, Secretary General of the Benelux Union, to learn more about the Benelux Union, its role within the Benelux countries and the wider EU, and its function as a laboratory for European integration.

Even before the end of World War II, the governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg decided to work together more closely. The Benelux was created in 1944 as a customs union. The three partners thus took the first pioneering steps on the road towards European integration. In 1958, the customs union between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg resulted in the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union, which implied a broadening and deepening of economic cooperation. On 17 June 2008, a new Benelux Treaty was signed. From then on, cooperation has been focusing on three key themes: internal market and economic union, sustainable development, and justice and home affairs. The Benelux continues to endure as a testbed and champion for European integration. At a time when the very concept of European integration is under threat, how can the Benelux Union serve as a model for its benefit and utility?

Mr Thomas Antoine became Secretary General of the Benelux Union in April 2017. Prior to taking on this role, he had an extensive career in the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spanning over three decades, including serving as Ambassador to Tunisia, Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and most recently Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He has a Master's degree in Philosophy and Letters from UCL in Leuven, and speaks English, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese.

A detailed programme is available here

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  • Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:00 - 21:00

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