After the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, partnerships among the remaining 27 Member States are being rethought and new alliances are being established. This briefing paper, built upon an expert roundtable discussion organised by the Association for International Affairs, assesses the current state of V4-Benelux cooperation and its possibilities and challenges.
Both the V4 and Benelux tend to be heterogeneous groups supporting each other only when it is beneficial for the priorities of the national governments. Although some of the options for mutual cooperation remain complicated due to fundamentally different positions regarding the rule of law, the regional groupings share emphasis on subsidiarity, the free market, budgetary discipline or cooperation. The paper argues that the bottom-up approach and strengthening of expert cooperation could help with overcoming the regional differences and finding more durable forms of cooperation.