On 17 June 2008, Belgium (in all parties), the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed a new Benelux Treaty in The Hague. The Benelux Union aims to deepen and extend cooperation between the three countries so that it can continue its pioneering role in the European Union and strengthen and improve cross-border cooperation at all levels. Through better cooperation between the countries, the Benelux countries are working to promote the prosperity and well-being of the citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In 2017, members of the Benelux, the Assembly of the Baltic States, three members of the Nordic Council (Sweden, Denmark and Finland) and all other EU Member States attempted to strengthen cooperation in the Digital Single Market and discuss social issues, the European Union`s Economic and Monetary Union, the European migration crisis and defence cooperation. Relations with Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom were also on the agenda.  Benelux is considered a forerunner and a testing ground by all economic cooperation organizations created in the post-war period. The transitional customs agreement between the Netherlands-Belgium-Luxembourg was signed on 5 September 1944 by the three governments in exile in London. It followed the Benelux monetary agreement of 21 October 1943, which set exchange rates between the Belgian franc in Luxembourg and the Dutch guilder. However, the devastation of the two world wars convinced the three states that isolated action would never guarantee the prosperity of the three countries.
They had few raw materials, but a skilled workforce and easy access to the sea and major waterways: Rotterdam and Antwerp are the largest and most active ports in Europe. Relatively small populations and highly productive industries meant that all three depended on trade and international cooperation, stability and peace. Their cooperation was marked by the importance of transporting coal and steel from the hills of southern Belgium and Luxembourg to the factories and ports of the Belgian and Dutch coasts in the most fluid and efficient way possible. A plan for the economic union of the Benelux was therefore formed by the governments of these countries even before the Second World War was over. The implementation of the Treaty of Liège allows the three Benelux countries to play the role of forerunners in Europe. In addition, the treaty expressly provides for the possibility of joining other countries. The monetary difficulties of the Netherlands were gradually resolved in the early 1950s thanks to the European Payments Union. The temporary absence of the German market has encouraged the three governments to obtain, through the Benelux union, common advantages in order to open mutual opportunities to their export sectors. Until at least 1952, Belgian industry benefited greatly from these agreements through access to Dutch markets, previously dominated by German competition.