Brussels might not equal the glitzy reputation of some European cities, but the Belgian capital can prove quite welcoming to visitors — especially to development professionals looking to sort out business with officials at the European Commission and other European institutions, agencies and bodies. The 1.2 million-strong city also hosts a slew of contractors, important outposts of international and regional NGOs, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and of course the domestic Belgian Development Agency, or BTC.
“Brussels is a little village,” said Louise Hilditch, managing director of Local Knowledge, a firm that among other things helps international NGOs get set up in the European capital. “This is a very inclusive place. Everybody is from somewhere else.”