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Europe in Brussels: New platform seeks better cooperation between EU and Belgian authorities
A new “cooperation platform” has been set up to beef up collaboration between the EU and various Belgian state authorities.
The "Europe in Brussels" platform seeks to ensure that the federal government and the Brussels-Capital Region “are on the same page” in their communications with both the EU institutions and other Belgian authorities.
A spokesman for the platform said that the Brussels-Capital Region “wants to strengthen its international influence” and “anchor the European institutions for the long-term”.
He said : “The aim is to ensure a better exchange of information between all levels involved in projects related to the European institutions and the development of the European Quarter.”
Items on the agenda included the construction of the 5th European School planned for 2028 in Neder-Over-Heembeek, the reconstruction of Schuman Square and the problem of the electronic identity card for EU staff who do not yet have one.
Among those taking part in the initiative is Alain Hutchinson, a Belgian politician and Brussels Commissioner for Europe and International Organisations.
He believes his office can be the central "focal point" for the platform, saying, "This confirms more than ever the central role my office plays at various levels in building a positive image with its international interlocutors, helping Belgium in general and the Brussels-Capital Region in particular to strengthen their host policy towards international institutions.”
He added: “We act as a one-stop shop for all questions, requests or problems regarding the smooth running of their activities, without prejudice to federal competences in this area.”
The platform also comprises the departments of the prime minister, the minister of foreign affairs and the minister-president of the Brussels-Capital Region. They will act “in close consultation” with the federal minister responsible for Beliris, the federal State Secretary for the Régie des Bâtiments, the federal state secretary for science policy and the Brussels state secretary for European and international relations.
The spokesman added : “The platform will focus on structured consultation with all actors involved (cabinets and public authorities in general) at federal, regional and local level, depending on the areas of competence concerned.”
Photo: Courtesy Brussels Commissioners’ office