Brussels feels increasing competition, vows to improve as the capital of EU

The Brussels government on Friday approved a strategic approach “to strengthen its position as European capital”, including by tackling Luxembourg Square. The region feels the hot breath of Strasbourg and Luxembourg on its neck.

The plan of Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) and state secretary for European and international relations Pascal Smet (one.Brussels-forward) was drawn up after consultation with the federal level and the European institutions.

In addition to well-known projects such as the renewal of Schuman Square, the Jubelpark and the European Parliament, the renewal of Luxembourg Square is also planned.

In addition, there will be a design study for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the railway line between the European Parliament and Schuman Square and the region wants, among other things, to ensure a less monofunctional district.

Brussels wants to strengthen its position as European Capital and that is not an unnecessary luxury. On Thursday evening, it was revealed that Luxembourg and Strasbourg are lurking and “a very active, and sometimes hostile seat policy (policy to attract large establishments, Ed. in relation to Belgium.” This is what it sounded like in a note from the Federal Public Service Chancellery of the Prime Minister, who could look into La Libre Belgique.

Luxembourg would like to attract the seats of the Commission and Strasbourg would like to play an increasingly important role for the European Parliament.

“This situation is potentially a threat to the future of the international position of our capital,” he said.

“There is, indeed, a very big competition going on between Luxembourg and especially Strasbourg,” confirms Damiaan de Jonge, spokesman for state secretary Pascal Smet. “But currently most European institutions are based in Brussels, apart from the fact that all parliamentarians have to move to parliament in Strasbourg once a month.”

Brussels must still feel wetness, because with the new approach, the city wants to “do everything in its power to strengthen its position”. There is a lot at stake: the European and international governments in Brussels account for around 5 billion euros a year and more than 120,000 jobs.

“Brussels really has the better cards in its hands, but with the good location alone we will not get there,” says De Jonge. “Brussels must really show that it is worth it: a place where people want to live and work, and where everyone is well taken care of.”