Brussels moves to strengthen its position as Europe's capital

The Brussels government has approved a strategic approach aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the Belgian capital as an international host city.

One of the proposed innovations is the establishment of a neutral zone for the European Parliament, by analogy with the federal parliament. The approach, spearheaded by regional minister-president Rudi Vervoort and state secretary for European and International Relations and Urban Planning Pascal Smet, was drawn up in consultation with the federal and European institutions. The idea is to accelerate and strategically roll out the strategy to transform the European neighbourhood and strengthen public services for international Brussels residents.

Brussels is host city to numerous European and international institutions, which together account for 120.000 jobs and an economic value of €5 billion per year. The strategic approach adopted by the Brussels government came about in a constructive dialogue with the European institutions. To transform it into reality, the regional and federal governments are joining forces.

The strategy includes many concrete projects that will improve the city's services and increase the attractiveness of the European district through interventions in the public space and a coherent vision for future (re)developments. These include remodelling Schuman Square, scheduled to undergo a complete metamorphosis, and transforming Place Luxembourg into the heart of the district. Vervoort and Smet were given the green light on Friday for their proposal to temporarily reconstruct the square as early as 2023 and then to start the process of its final reconstruction.

The European district itself will have its own visual identity while a communication strategy will address its current 'gray' image.

In addition, the federal government wants to revamp the Cinquantenaire Park by 2030, the 200th anniversary of Belgium's creation. There will also be a design study for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the railroad line between the European Parliament and Place Schuman.

In addition to these infrastructural developments, Belgium and Brussels are also more actively welcoming international residents to Brussels and assisting them. For example, internationals will have easier access to all public services via an electronic ID card. There will be a new European School in Neder-over-Heembeek and a hybrid school which European and Belgian pupils will attend together. Some existing European schools will also be renovated. The Solvay Library, in Leopold Park, will house the library for European law in the near future.

The European district itself will have its own visual identity while a communication strategy will address its current 'gray' image.


 Shuman square © PHOTO Valeria Mongelli / AFP

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels