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.”
Most places of interest to development professionals are concentrated in a section of town appropriately called the European Quarter. They’re generally surrounded by a wide range of cafés, restaurants and bars. Below we offer few tips. Scroll down for addresses and links.
DEVCO, ECHO, and NGOs: European Quarter (west)
On the western end of the European Quarter, you’ll find the European Commission’s agencies for international development and cooperation: The European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, or DEVCO, and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, or ECHO.