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Increase safety
through effective
cross-border cooperation

International crime knows no borders. However, effective cooperation between our countries allows us to mitigate its impact.

Whether we’re combating drug trafficking, cybercrime, human trafficking or fraud, the Benelux countries are cooperating intensively in all of these areas to improve the safety of their citizens.

Improving your safety through the Benelux Police Treaty

The new Benelux Treaty on police cooperation, signed on 23 July 2018 in Brussels by Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, provides for joint measures such as:

  • the exchange of information and the sharing of databases
  • cross-border criminal prosecution
  • conducting mutual investigations
  • cross-border action and cooperation of special units in crisis situations
  • support for safety at major events
  • joint training and exercises of police forces

A treaty of this type is unique in the European Union.

The joint fight against organised crime


In recent years, developing a common approach to combating drug trafficking has become a core element of the safety partnership between the Benelux countries. Our countries are aware that the best way to combat these shared problems is to act together. An overview of ongoing projects is provided below:

  • combating illicit drug trafficking with North Rhine-Westphalia via postal and courier services
  • cooperation in the field of crime analysis
  • Hazeldonk partnership between the three Benelux countries and France


Increasing digitalisation and access to centralised electronic data undoubtedly make our daily lives much easier, but these developments also open the door to new crime phenomena such as cybercrime (hacking, phishing, ransomware). By definition, cybercrime is an international phenomenon, and as such, a common approach at Benelux level is vital to protect citizens and businesses. The main objective is to improve cooperation and coordinate the cross-border measures to be taken, including:

  • gaining a better understanding of the expertise available in neighbouring countries
  • experience sharing between neighbouring countries
  • identifying problems in international police cooperation

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a flagrant violation of human rights. The Benelux is not immune to these malpractices: women and children are recruited for sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic slavery, organised begging or organ trafficking. To combat this type of crime, the Benelux countries have adopted a multidisciplinary approach involving all relevant stakeholders: the justice system, the police, prosecutors, labour inspectors, reception centres and migration authorities.

Working together to combat tax fraud

Tax fraud is also a cross-border phenomenon, once again underlining the importance of information exchange between countries. A strong network between the three countries is an important asset in our partnership in this area, which revolves around:

  • joint participation in numerous digital projects enabling automatic exchange of information between countries
  • joint studies to detect new fraud phenomena
  • sharing tax experiences and monitoring European developments

Combating cross-border social fraud

Cross-border social fraud often involves constructions spanning several countries, so a multilateral approach is needed on top of the existing bilateral agreements. The Benelux is focusing its efforts around three themes:

  1. setting up joint inspections
  2. facilitating data exchange
  3. establishing a legal framework (multilateral treaty).

On the latter point, the intention is to create a Benelux legal instrument to strengthen cooperation between the Benelux countries in the fight against social fraud.

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