Belgian–Dutch relations refer to interstate relations between the Belgium and the Netherlands. It can be seen as one of the closest international relationships in existence, marked by shared history, culture, institutions and language, extensive people-to-people links, aligned security interests, sporting tournaments and vibrant trade and investment cooperation. Relations were established after Belgium became independent from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1839. Both nations are great allies with cultural similarities and close cooperation between both governments. Dutch, known in Belgium as Flemish, is the most-spoken language in both countries. Approximately 35,000 Belgian nationals live in the Netherlands, while there are around 111,000 Dutch nationals in Belgium.
Thanks to their shared history and the Dutch language, the Netherlands and Belgium have strong cultural ties. In 1980, the two countries set up the Dutch Language Union to encourage greater cooperation in the field of Dutch language and literature. The Union offers services including language tools like dictionaries and a language advice service, education in and about Dutch, literature and reading skills, and activities promoting the Dutch language in Europe and the rest of the world. The Union also works to showcase the two countries’ shared cultural heritage.
Belgium has an embassy in The Hague and consulates in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Roosendaal, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Vlissingen and Winsum, while the Netherlands has an embassy in Brussels and consulates in Antwerp, Ghent, Liège and Namur. Both nations are members of the European Union and NATO and, together with Luxembourg, form the Low Countries and the Benelux economic union.
Many television programmes are made mutually between the two countries, such as So You Think You Can Dance and Benelux' Next Top Model. The two countries were joint hosts of the UEFA Euro 2000 football tournament and (unfruitfully) made a bid to host the 2018 World Cup football.
|Area||31 000 km2 (11.969 sq mi)||42 000 km2 (16.216 sq mi )|
|Population Density||364/km2 (942/sq mi)||405/km2 (1,049/sq mi)|
|Largest City||Antwerp – 510,610 (Brussels – 1,830,000 Metro)||Amsterdam – 810,084 (1,575,263
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Official language||Dutch, French, German (de facto and de jure)||Dutch, West Frisian (de facto and de jure), English (on Saba and Sint-Eustatius which are special municipalities within the country of the Netherlands.)|
|Main religions||58% Catholicism, 7% other Christian, 5% Islam,
2% Other, 27% irreligious
|29% Catholicism, 19% Protestantism, 5% Islam,
5% Other, 42% irreligious
|Ethnic groups||59% Flemish, 32% Walloon, 10% other||81% Dutch, 19% other|
|GDP (PPP)||$420.307 billion, $37,883 per capita||$696.308 billion, $41,447 per capita|
|GDP (nominal)||$484.692 billion, $43,686 per capita||$800.535 billion, $47,651 per capita|
- "Western Europe". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Aid and Development Cooperation. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "België in trek bij Nederlanders". CBS (in Dutch). 9 January 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Relations the Netherlands - Belgium". Government of the Netherlands. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
- "Associations of Belgium and the Netherlands officially announce interest in submitting joint bid". 14 Nov 2007. Archived from the original on 15 Nov 2007. Retrieved 14 Nov 2007.
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