Lying on the coast of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, with Germany to its east, the Netherlands to its north, and France to its south and west, Belgium is located at the heart of one of Europe's most highly industrialized regions. Together with its neighbors the Netherlands and Luxembourg, it is referred to as Benelux. Belgium has a population of about 10 million people in an area of 11,700 square miles and includes French, Dutch, and German as official languages. As one of the founding members of the European Union, its capital, Brussels, is effectively the unofficial capital of Europe—home to the European Parliament of the European Union and the headquarters of NATO as well as various other international organizations. Belgium is a full-color study of the history, people, culture, geography, environment, and economy of this pivotal country and the role it plays in modern-day global politics.