“If all goes well, all master’s and bachelor degrees studied in the Benelux countries from next year will automatically be mutually recognised,” said Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Monday at a press conference following the Benelux summit in Schengen.
Bettel also stressed that the work on the relevant bill is nearing completion. The mutual automatic recognition of diplomas should come as a great relief for many students. For the Prime Minister, the measure is also a successful example of cutting red tape.
Measures such as the mutual recognition of diplomas show that the Benelux countries continue to play a pioneering role within the European Union, with the governments of the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium in agreement. For Mark Rutte, Xavier Bettel and Charles Michel, it is this tripartite alliance that represents “added value to daily life.”
Downsizing at ING
Cross-border concerns were raised at the Benelux summit, such as the announcement of job losses at Dutch bank ING. Prime Minister Bettel confirmed that Luxembourg was not affected in the measure where up to 7,000 jobs could be lost in the bank’s restructuring in the Netherlands and Belgium. The aim of the group is to save around 900 million euros by the end of the 2021.
“We will aim for as few redundancies as possible” stated Belgian PM Charles Michel. He met on Monday morning with the bank’s leaders and also met with unions after the Benelux summit. The cuts will also be made as “socially acceptable as possible,” he said.
Bettel, Rutte and Michel also discussed Hungary at the summit regarding the outcome of the country’s referendum that failed on Sunday to surpass the 50% voter turnout threshold.
The EU will continue in solidarity regarding immigrant quotas, the three heads stated unanimously. Prime Minister Bettel, however, said is was strange a European country would try to influence the entire European policy through a national referendum.
Travel to Tunisia
Benelux countries are stepping up relations with Tunisia. This means that in the coming months, a visit to Tunis is on the cards where a large economic delegation will participate.
The focus will be on improved economic cooperation, however migration and security will also be subjects on the table.
At lunch, following the Benelux summit, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa joined proceedings.