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Accessible healthcare, better air quality and improved food safety to guarantee the wellbeing of our citizens.

The Benelux Union is actively working to strengthen cross-border healthcare and cooperation at the European level. It also wants to improve air quality and increase food safety to better protect consumers.

Facilitate cross-border ambulance transport

If you live in a border region and need medical assistance, it is essential that you are able to rely on fast and efficient emergency medical transport at all times. To this end, two Benelux decrees have been signed — one between Belgium and Luxembourg and the other between Belgium and the Netherlands — with the aim of facilitating cross-border emergency ambulance transport (and organ transport between Belgium and Luxembourg). Urgent medical procedures can be performed much faster as a result.

eHealth: cross-border electronic exchange for more efficient treatment

To ensure people always get the best possible care, patients and their service providers need quick and immediate access to the health data of those in need of medical assistance. The e-Health programme delivers an important contribution to this. By processing and providing medical data digitally, the electronic healthcare system facilitates efficient and effective patient care, while maintaining confidentiality and data security. The Benelux eHealth implementation agreements include the cross-border use of patient and physician identifications and authentications as a basic guarantee, all linked to a physician database.

Improve air quality through joint projects with partners in neighbouring regions

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), air pollution is the greatest environmental health risk the world faces today. It can lead to heart problems and respiratory problems, including asthma, and allergies. The Benelux countries have taken up the issue and engaged their partners in neighbouring regions — including Hauts-de-France and North Rhine-Westphalia — in joint projects to reduce pollution from:

  • wood burning in open fireplaces
  • emissions from inland vessels

Protecting consumers through cross-border cooperation on food safety

One of the main concerns in the partnership between the Benelux countries is the welfare and safety of the citizens of the three countries. Closer cooperation on food safety delivers an important contribution to protecting the health of consumers. We aim to prevent crises — such as the fipronil crisis — as much as possible, and we seek to respond to them as best as we can when they do occur.

Cooperation between the Benelux countries on food safety is focused on:

  • animal health and animal transport
  • checks on animal feed
  • improving the functioning of the Benelux internal market by coordinating food requirements

The world is facing a series of different crises. The Benelux Union is committed to joint crisis management to enable us to withstand current and future crises.

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