The European Union is an integration International Organization which derives from the ECSC, Euratom and the EC, and originated to promote peace, stability and cooperation among European States. Its implications have been vast, since it has implied the establishment of an area of free movement of people, capital, and labor, and the creation of the Eurozone, an area in which States share a common currency, among other things.

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As a member, Belgium received in 2017 7.3 million € from the EU, and its contribution to the EU was of 2.9 million €. It became part of the Euro-zone in 1999, and its commercial structure has been transformed radically since it became a member of the EU.


However, this article focuses on the implications the EU has had in Belgium, more specifically in Brussels. Brussels is known globally for being the headquarters to the European Union. The impact that this has had in the region of Brussels is immense.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union. Its main organs are situated there. Given these characteristics, it is logical that it is a very cosmopolitan city and metropoli.

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As a curiosity, we can see that both the old (second flag) and new flag (first flag) of Brussels share the color palette of the EU flag (navy blue and yellow), which helps symbolize that Brussels is its de facto capital

If we look at its labor structure, we can see that Brussels has followed the tendency of tertiarization of the economy, since nowadays, as of 2016, 90.5% of its economic structure is associated to third sector activities. The population of the Brussels-Capital region in 2015 was of 1,175,173 residents, of which the 33% had a different nationality from the Belgian one.

Specifically in the Brussels-Capital region, 14.5% of those jobs were related to public administration, 9.3% were related to commerce, and 7.5% to administrative and support services. This is a consequence of Brussels being de facto capital of the EU and being a capital of the State. However, if we account for the percentage of workers which work in international institutions, it corresponds to 16.7% of the employment of the region, which is equivalent to 121,000 job positions.


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Some of the buildings of the  European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Council are located in Brussels, which is why we say that Brussels is the European Union’s de facto capital.

This data allows us to see numerically the impact that the EU has had not only in Brussels, but in the region of Brussels. Thanks to the installation of headquarters in Brussels, its economy has developed and transformed, which has also modified the economic progress of Belgium.


  1.  Brussels.info. (s.f.). European Institutions in Brussels. Obtenido de Brussels.info: https://www.brussels.info/institutions/
  2. Commissioner Brussels. (n.d.). BRUSSELS-EUROPE, THE FIGURES 2016. Retrieved from Commissioner Brussels: http://www.commissioner.brussels/i-am-an-expat/news/item/625-brussels-europe-in-figures
  3. McNally, P. (2016, January 13). Brussels by numbers: Facts and figures for a truly international city. Retrieved from The Bulletin: https://www.thebulletin.be/brussels-numbers-facts-and-figures-truly-international-city
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (21 de September de 2018). Brussels and the European Union. Obtenido de Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brussels_and_the_European_Union

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