Interparliamentary Benelux Consultative Council
|Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg|
The Benelux Parliament, formally the Benelux Interparliamentary Consultative Council, is one of the institutions of the Benelux economic union. The Parliament was established by an agreement signed by Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on November 5, 1955, which means it had already existed for three years when the Benelux Union was signed on February 3, 1958. The Benelux Parliament provides the governments with advice on economic and cross-frontier cooperation. Its recommendations may also concern other matters if common interests or current events so dictate. The parliament also keeps the three governments informed about the opinions that move in the parliamentary assemblies from which its members originate.
The Benelux Parliament consists of 49 members: 21 Members of Parliament from Belgium, 21 from the Netherlands and seven from Luxembourg. The 21 Belgian members are elected from amongst both Chambers of the Belgian Federal Parliament and by the Parliaments of the Communities and Regions of Belgium. The 21 Dutch members are elected from the Senate and House of Representatives of the States General of the Netherlands. The seven Luxembourgian members are elected from amongst the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg. There is also one acting member for each of the 49 members, who can replace that member if necessary.
The members of the Benelux Parliament are divided into three fractions. The Christian fraction includes members of the CD&V, cdH and N-VA from Belgium, the CDA and CU from the Netherlands, and the CSV from Luxembourg. The socialist fraction includes members of the PS, sp.a, Groen and Ecolo from Belgium, the PvdA from the Netherlands, and The Greens, The Left and the LSAP from Luxembourg. The liberal fraction includes members of Open Vld and MR from Belgium, the VVD from the Netherlands, and the DP from Luxembourg. Members of the PVV, SP and D66 from the Netherlands and VB from Belgium are not part of any fraction.
The seat of the Benelux Parliament rotates among the cities of Brussels, The Hague and Luxembourg. Each of these cities hosts the plenary meetings of the Benelux Parliament for two consecutive years. The Benelux Parliament currently meets in Luxembourg and will meet in Brussels in 2015 and 2016, and in The Hague the two years after that. The Secretariat of the Benelux Parliament is located in Brussels.