Today, 3 October, in Schengen, the Benelux countries gathered for their 2016 Summit and signed a joint digital declaration. For Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the digital economy can really boost innovation and growth and its full potential has not yet been reached. It is thus urgent to cooperate even more closely to foster the digital economy.
Benelux as a digital model in Europe
The three countries are aiming to be “digital pioneers and to act as a role model in advancing the Digital Single Market within the European Union.” The idea of a “Digital Benelux” was launched one month before the European Union’s Digital Single Market last year, as part as of the Benelux Action Plan for jobs and growth, which identified several measures to boost the digital economy. But the three countries are looking to go further than that, and to move faster than the Digital Single Market.
As such, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg will work towards common positions to advance the Digital Single Market Strategy on issues like geo-blocking or the European Electronic Communications Code. The three countries also want to break down existing barriers for both companies and consumers in the area of e-commerce, by fostering online and mobile payments, reforming rules on parcel services, and adopting joint market surveillance.