September 5 - Benelux Formed

Posted on September 5, 2018

You know that annoying thing fans and entertainment writers sometimes do, joining together couples' names? Like Bennifer and Brangelina and TomKat - all couples who have since split! - and Kimye and...well, there are lots of famous examples, and I bet a lot of not-famous couples - or their friends - have done the join-names thing as well.

Well, today's historical anniversary is three small nations that banded together to form a customs union - this was before the E.U. - and they named their economic / political union by combining the first part of each name.
Benelux is Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg all becoming stronger together! 

This early union was the predecessor of the six-nation European Coal and Steel Community, which was the predecessor of the European Economic Community, which was the predecessor of today's European Union. That puts Benelux residents at the cutting edge of modern global political and economic unions!

Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg were also three of the first five nations who established open borders between their nations. They also established common visa policies. 
Since the E.U. now exists, and all three nations plus 16 more share one money system, the Euro, and almost all 28 members, plus several non-E.U. members, have open borders, Benelux still serves as a viable geographical and cultural union.

By the way, I mentioned that today is the anniversary of the creation of Benelux, but I didn't tell you in what year this union was formed: in 1944. That means that it was formed while the Allies were still liberating these nations from the Nazis! It was actually formed when the exiled representatives of the three nations met in London. I think this was a time when nations were definitely wanting to become stronger!!

Here are a few facts about the Benelux countries:

Official languages:
Luxembourg - French, German, and Luxembourgish
Belgium - French, Dutch, and German
the Netherlands - Dutch

Luxembourg - 2.5 thousand square km
Belgium - 30.5 thousand square km
the Netherlands - 41.5 thousand square km

Luxembourg - more than 600 thousand
Belgium - more than 11 million
the Netherlands - more than 17 million

And here are a few pictures of the Benelux nations:

Above, the lovely, canal-filled Amsterdam,
and below, the beautiful town of Bourtange, both in Amsterdam.
Above, gorgeous Dinant, and below, next two photos,
the famous canal-filled Bruges, both in Belgium.

Above and below, Luxembourg City.

One thing that the Netherlands is famous for - other than windmills and canals and ice skating - is tulips! Check out some of the amazing tulip farms and Keukenhof Gardens:

Actually, the tulip garden above is in Belgium -
it just goes to show you that these neighboring nations
share a lot in terms of climate and culture.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of a tax on beards

Plan ahead:

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