In Europe

An office to welcome European and internationalorganisations and help them integrate better into the capital

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Alain Hutchinson, the new Commissioner for Relations with European and international organisations.

The Brussels-Capital Region has appointed a Commissioner for relations with European and international organisations in order to enhance its reception and partnership policy with regard to these institutions as well as to their expat workers in Brussels.   The Commissioner for relations with European and international organisations will prioritise the reception of all international organisations in Brussels, in order to help them develop more easily, in line with the Region’s development and the needs of its inhabitants. It will be his role to organise the  Region’s relations with all the international institutions and organisations present on its territory. He will serve as a unique “go between” for the Brussels authorities. The role comes with several responsibilities including spatial and urban planning, mobility, quality of the public space, security, welcoming new inhabitants of Brussels, mostly “expats”, by means of  the Expat Welcome Desk. The new Commissioner has inherited part of the activities of the Brussels-Europe Liaison Office, established in 1991, as well as of the Urban Development Agency.   A straightforward and efficient collaboration The Commissioner is in charge of simplifying all these matters and efficiently tackling a number of complex dossiers. The Commissioner acts as the government’s official representative and can therefore pull all the strings needed to make matters move forward, to ask the right questions to Brussels policy-makers and find appropriate solutions as quickly as possible. Alain Hutchinson, who was appointed Commissioner, had the following to say when the office was inaugurated on 26 March 2015 : “We hope to reinforce the credibility of the authorities in the eyes of the people of Brussels, who often are sceptic and critical of the European structure, as well as the unfailing commitment of all the international organisations, NGOs, media organisations and associations that have chosen to come to Brussels to have an impact, based on a mindset of straightforward and efficient collaboration between the people of Brussels and their guests”.   A long-standing tradition In the past sixty years the Brussels-Capital Region’s history has often been confused with its progressive development into a leading international institutional and diplomatic centre. Soon after the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the emerging European institutions decided to establish themselves in Brussels. The Belgian capital was suddenly thrust in the spotlight, becoming the European capital and nowadays we have lost count of the international institutions and organisations that have their headquarters here. At the same time, Brussels also became one of the regions of the federal state of Belgium. Recently the 6th Belgian state reform granted the region new competences. The Brussels-Capital Region as a result is associated with the policy of welcoming international entities and organizations, which to date had been a federal prerogative. This evolution as such justified the establishment of the post of Commissioner for relations with European and international organisations.   Further information: Expat Welcome Desk Are you an expat in Brussels or will you be moving here soon? The Expat Welcome Desk, which is part of the Commissioner’s Office for relations with European and international organisations, is a free of charge and independent public service that will help you with all practical and legal matters during your stay in Brussels.   Contact : www.commissioner.brussels info@commissioner.brussels Tel. : +32 2 430 66 14.