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City Partnership Brussels Capital City Region

Brüssel: Panorama des Grand Place
Panorama of the Grand Place
Image: TTstudio/depositphotos.com

The agreement on friendship and cooperation between Berlin and the Brussels Capital City Region was signed in Berlin on 1 June 1992. This city partnership was founded in the interest of more proximity to the European Union. The new connection to Berlin was the Brussels Capital City Region’s first official partnership on the international level.

Along with traditional administrative cooperation – especially in urban development, youth work and environmental protection – we also cooperate in the many different city networks that Brussels and Berlin both belong to (e.g., Eurocities and UCUE).

We often take advantage of the proximity to the European Union to plan joint projects with the support of EU programs. One example of such cooperation was a nine-week exchange of police officers from Berlin’s Office of Criminal Investigation and the Belgian National Police, as part of the EU program LEONARDO.

Brussels and Berlin regularly present themselves to professional audiences and the general public during “Brussels Days” and “Berlin Days” held in the partner city. These events showcase tourism, the creative industries, business, and culture. Exhibitions highlighting a wide range of topics and styles also take place in both cities.

In addition, both cities are very interested in sharing their experience with each other in various areas, such as community-based work done with immigrants. Brussels and Berlin are both working hard to promote the integration of very different immigrant groups into urban life.

The minister-president of the Brussels Capital City Region, Rudi Vervoort, took part in various events held on 8 and 9 November 2019 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Among other things, these included participating in a panel discussion at the Berlin House of Representatives with his fellow mayors from Budapest, Istanbul, Prague, and Warsaw.

The coronavirus crisis has essentially ended any in-person exchange between the two cities for the time being. Countless joint projects had been planned, and these had to be cancelled or postponed. At the same time, however, the pandemic has offered an opportunity to try out innovations. The mayors of Berlin’s partner cities now meet regularly in videoconferences to discuss measures and approaches taken by the cities to respond to the pandemic. In addition, they exchange questionnaires that are also designed to identify the lessons of the crisis.

You can find out more about planned activities and events under News. Past events are listed under Retrospective.