Baltic-Benelux parliamentary cooperation started in 1994. By signing the Common Declaration on Parliamentary Cooperation, parliamentarians agreed to cooperate in developing democratic institutions and to collaborate in spheres such as foreign policy, communications, energy, market economy, environmental protection, culture, education and science. Throughout the years the cooperation has expanded and taken new forms, essence and format. Participation at the sessions of both organisations and meetings between their leaders has expanded to jointly organised seminars and conferences. The Benelux experience has been very useful in solving cross-border problems, such as developing joint infrastructure facilities, opening common border-crossing checkpoints and organizing common customs services as well as fighting against organised crime and illegal border crossing. The Benelux countries have also provided an indispensable support to the Baltic States in preparing for joining the Schengen information system. Read more about history of cooperation.
* Meeting of the presidums of the BA and the Benelux Parliament on 11 June 2011 in the Hague
The closest cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Benelux Parliament has taken place in the following spheres: local government cooperation, visa issues, cross-border cooperation, cooperation between sea ports, migration issues, preservation of the cultural heritage etc. The Baltic Assembly benefited from the experience of the Benelux countries in the sphere of cross-border cooperation (for solving problems related to Valka and Valga), development of a common infrastructure as well as creation of joint border control points and unified management of customs services in order to ensure compliance with the criteria set by the Schengen system. Read more about the joint activities of the BA and the BICC.
* During the Session of the Benelux Parliament on 10-11 December 2010 in Brussels, Belgium
Main goal for the cooperation between both organizations is to promote deeper European integration, expansion of welfare, political consensus and economic stabilization and development. On 17 June 2011 in the Hague Declaration on cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Benelux Parliament for 2011-2012 was signed. Both organizations emphasize the necessity to promote a deepend cooperation of the Baltic and the Benelux countries on parliamentary and governmental level in order to respond to the consequences of global economic and financial crisis by paying special attention to the stabilization of economies, provisioning of sustainable growth, promoting competitiveness and ecouraging progress factors, including information society and science development. Main priorities of cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Benelux Parliament for 2011-2012 are the following: 1) establishment of a European energy community; 2) human capital and knowledge-based and innovative economies; 3) health care and social policy; 4) fight against illegal migration, organized crime, cross-border cooperation; and 5) integration policies and experiences.