City Partnership Brussels Capital City Region

Brüssel: Panorama des Grand Place

Panorama of the Grand Place

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, such as Eurocities.

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

The coronavirus pandemic brought in-person exchanges between the two partner cities more or less to a standstill. Many planned joint projects were canceled or indefinitely postponed. At the same time, however, the pandemic gave us the chance to try out new formats. The mayors of the partner cities now meet regularly in videoconferences to discuss various measures and solutions for dealing with the pandemic. They are also learning from the crisis by exchanging questionnaires on their city’s response to it.

In 2022, the Brussels Capital City Region and Berlin are planning to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their partnership, if the pandemic permits it. Plans so far include a short film festival, artist residencies, and a program contribution marking the anniversary in the Fête de Francophonie at Centre Français de Berlin, where Belgium is this year’s partner country. The Brussels Capital City Region will be announcing its plans for the anniversary soon.

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