BENELUX: Friendly Difficulties

In the vacuum of exile during World War II, the governments of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg spent much of their time working out plans for the happy day of liberation. Their most ambitious scheme was for economic union: interstate free trade, a common tariff and excise, a free exchange of workers. The beginnings proved more modest: after liberation came a customs union with a catchy name, Benelux, and talk of how the three nations would prove "an example of unity in a divided world."

Benelux's international trade is now the biggest on the Continent, though its population (20 million) is...

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