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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:

  • Strengthen Berkeley’s academic, intellectual and institutional ties to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
  • Support graduate and undergraduate teaching and research about topics relating to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, both from a contemporary and a historical perspective
  • Support study abroad and internship programs for Berkeley students in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg
  • Support the book collections dealing with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in Berkeley’s Main Library
  • Cooperate with other research centers on the Berkeley campus to support teaching and research on parts of the world with a Dutch or Belgian colonial history, such as Indonesia, South Africa, Suriname, and the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Support interdisciplinary research that fosters the transatlantic connections between the BENELUX countries and the United States
  • Support the teaching of the BENELUX languages on the Berkeley campus, Dutch, French, German and Luxembourgish
  • Provide a platform for conferences, colloquia and public lectures on Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in order to disseminate knowledge of and interest in the BENELUX countries in California

Jeroen Dewulf

Institute of European Studies
207 Moses Hall, #2316
University of California
Berkeley, CA  94720-2316

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