“Implementation of cooperation is difficult, because the fact that something is allowed to happen does not mean that it will happen in practice and the question is how to remove barriers.”

The second plenary session of the Benelux Parliament took place on June 16 and 17 in the Maastricht County Hall. A delegation of parliamentarians from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg, spoke, among other things, extensively about the topic of cross-border drug crime. ITEM researcher Math Noortmann was invited to further explain the challenges of cooperation in cross-border drug crime from a scientific perspective. He pointed out the difficulties in the practical implementation of cross-border cooperation. Referring to a 2-year NWO project starting November 1, he indicated where barriers can arise and how they can be eliminated.

In the debate on cross-border drug crime, the importance of cooperation in our cross-border regions was emphasized several times by Xander Beenhakkers of the Limburg Regional Police Unit and Ben Köke of the Limburg Public Prosecutor’s Office. Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yesilgöz also underlined in her video message that “even smaller border areas [must] become unattractive to criminals.” Math Noortmann outlined how science and especially knowledge institutes such as ITEM can play an important role in this.

Please find more information and the report of the second plenary session 2023 of the Benelux Interparlementary Assembly on the Parliament’s website.