Decision-making heart of Europe

Being in Brussels is good for business. The decisions made in Brussels impact people and organisations across the European Union and beyond. Savvy business people recognise the importance of being present in order to be able to influence the decisions that may affect them.

Oft-quoted figures state that 70% of all rules governing the everyday life of European citizens emanate from the European Commission. As a result, companies flock here in order to be close to the centre of financial, business and political power in Europe.

The high density of international businesses in Brussels can be further explained by the proximity of major EU capitals, superb transport and international travel links, a multilingual population and the high level of education that Belgian citizens receive.

The capital of Europe is the place to be!

  • EU institutions: home to the key political and decision-making institutions of the EU such as the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers of the EU, the European Commission, the Committee of the European Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.
  • International organisations:  headquarters of more international organisations than Washington, D.C., ranking number one in the world with 3,063 organisations based in the city, including NATO, the Western European Union (WEU) and the Benelux.
  • International NGOs: Brussels is also home to 837 international NGOs (source: 'Yearbook of International Organisations' by the Union of International Associations).
  • Diplomatic: Brussels is 2nd only to New York, with some 3,800 diplomats and 159 embassies.
  • Business: 1,300 foreign companies are located in the European capital.
  • Public affairs and lobbying: Brussels has over 1,000 lobby groups, hundreds of PR and public affairs firms, consulting and law firms offering lobbying services, NGOs, dozens of corporate-funded think tanks as well as several hundred ‘EU affairs’ offices run by individual corporations.
  • Media: Brussels’ worldwide press centre is 2nd only to Washington, D.C., with about 1,200 journalists permanently stationed in the city working for hundreds of press agencies, television broadcasters, radio stations and newspapers.
  • Pressure groups: headquarters for thousands of lobbying agencies, representatives of 400 regions and cities, and legal and consulting firms.
  • Conferences: the world’s 2nd largest conference hub for hosting international business meetings.

“For EDF group it is fundamental to be present in Brussels: we have to work with and react to the various European institutions in order to be considered a competent, efficient and responsible stakeholder.”

Emmanuel Sellier, Head of the EDF (France) office in Brussels