Brussels: (Daily Parliament Times) This month, Belgium will take over the presidency of the Benelux for one year. Initially Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès would present the priorities of this presidency at a ceremony in Brussels, but given the sanitary evolution and the outbreak of new Covid variants, a meeting with her Dutch and Luxembourg colleagues Stefan Blok and Jean Asselborn for later.
The priorities of this Belgian Presidency are the strengthening of the internal market, sustainability (in terms of economy, energy and mobility) and security (in particular the fight against cross-border crime and radicalism). These priorities are aimed at achieving tangible results for citizens and businesses. They are part of the annual work plan for 2021 and the multi-annual program 2021-2024 of the Benelux Union. During its presidency, Belgium will ensure continuity and at the same time be flexible.
Strengthening the bond between the Benelux and the European Union will be an important guideline throughout the Belgian Presidency. Historically, the Benelux can boast of a pioneering role in Europe, demonstrating the importance of jointly facing the many challenges in the economic, social, safety and health fields. The Belgian Presidency will also continue the political cooperation of the Benelux on topics that are central to the European agenda and European foreign policy, which will increase the visibility and weight of our positions.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilmès: “Cooperation in the Benelux context is more relevant and necessary than ever. Not only as a testing ground for European cooperation, but also as an exemplary model of regional integration and as a source of inspiration for other regions within Europe and far. It is therefore essential that we set targeted goals and achieve concrete results. It is my express wish and ambition that the Belgian Presidency can make a significant