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In December 2018, the Benelux countries signed a letter of intent with France, confirming their willingness to cooperate more closely, especially with the neighbouring regions of Hauts-de-France and Grand Est.

Strengthening Benelux relations with France and its border regions was one of the outcomes of the 2017 Benelux summit of prime ministers in The Hague and one of the priorities of the then Belgian presidency.

Besides close bilateral and multilateral relations, the four countries wanted to explore new opportunities for cross-border cooperation, including projects in sustainable development, innovation and digitalisation, and new initiatives in culture and economic development.