The BENELUX Program at the Institute of European Studies was established in 2015. It fosters cooperation between the University of California, Berkeley and Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The importance of the BENELUX region in Europe is often underestimated. At once diverse and interconnected, it is a crucial political, legal, academic, and economic nexus in Europe. Despite the small size of the countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg represent the world's fourth largest export economy. Strategically located along the North Sea coast, Europe’s two largest seaports—Antwerp and Rotterdam—are located in the BENELUX. With Brussels and Luxembourg, the BENELUX is home to the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, the EU Court of Justice, the European Investment Bank and can legitimately be considered Europe’s political power center. Culturally, the linguistically diverse BENELUX area is home to some of the world’s most renowned art museums in cities such as Amsterdam, The Hague, and Bruges, which are interconnected by the world’s densest public transportation system. With several of Europe’s best universities, the BENELUX region has a lot to offer as a strategic academic research partner of UC Berkeley.
The BENELUX Program will support a wide array of scholarly, cultural, professional and educational activities to encourage cooperation between Berkeley and Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The Program has the following objectives: