The External Relations Department
The External Relations Department is led by director Geoffroy Clerckx and consists of three units:
- The European and Multilateral Affairs Unit;
- The Bilateral Relations and Development Cooperation Unit;
- The Protocol and Travel Unit.
The European and Multilateral Affairs Unit
Brussels International also maintains relations with the international networks the Brussels-Capital Region is a member of:
- The Assembly of European Regions;
- The Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV);
- The Capital Cities & Regions Network.
Brussels International coordinates the relations with international organizations in which the Brussels-Capital Region is represented as a federated entity, e.g. the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Benelux, the Council of Europe (CoE) and several United Nations agencies. It participates in the interfederal consultation mechanisms for all multilateral policy matters.
Brussels International is also in charge of the signing and ratification procedures for European and international treaties which relate to regional competences.
Moreover, the Region is regularly called upon to contribute to reports relating to its competences.
The unit contributes to European policy making and ensures the policies’ follow-up. It does so in close cooperation with the Delegation of the Brussels-Capital Region to the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the European Union.
The European section of this unit fulfils three key tasks:
- la coordination de l’application du droit européen en droit régional (transpositions, infractions…),
- la coordination administrative des dossiers européens transversaux (Semestre européen, Cadre financier pluriannuel…),
- le suivi des programmes et réseaux européens afin de favoriser la participation de la RBC à ces derniers.
the Council of Europe
the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Assembly of European Regions (AER)
Jean-Nicolas De Wulf
Bilateral Relations and Development Cooperation Unit
Brussels International manages the relations between the Brussels-Capital Region and the cities, regions and countries with which it has concluded a cooperation agreement. The unit ensures the follow-up of these agreements.
Some thirty cities, regions or countries have a bilateral agreement with the Brussels-Capital Region, i.e. the Aichi Prefecture, the Algiers wilaya, Berlin, the Federal district in Brazil (Brasilia), the Bratislava region, Budapest, Chennai, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Île-de-France, Kiev, the City-Province of Kinshasa, Havana, the Métropole européenne de Lille, Ljubljana, the Masovian Voivodeship, Moscow, the Paramaribo district, Beijing, Prague, Québec, the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra region, Seoul, the Sichuan province, Sofia, Tokyo, Vienna, Vilnius, Washington DC and Xi'an.
Some of these cities or regions are situated in developing countries and a part of the initiatives that are developed in the frame of cooperation agreements fall into the category of development cooperation. The Brussels development cooperation is essentially aimed at an inclusive and sustainable development and respect for human rights, in order to improve living conditions for the populations in developing countries and to contribute to a more just and united international community.
The Protocol and Travel Unit
This unit is also in charge of public relations and protocol (welcoming delegations). It organises or coordinates the Region’s participation in major events, such as world exhibitions and international conferences, the Brussels Days, the international aspects of the eat! BRUSSELS festival, international symposia and state visits.
Furthermore, it organizes all professional journeys of regional civil servants abroad. Lastly, the unit manages the protocol (welcoming delegations).