Belgium is a multi-layered federal state and the Brussels-Capital Region is one of the entities with legislative power on its territory.
The territory of the Brussels-Capital Region also comprises nineteen local municipalities (“communes”), each operating autonomously through their public administrations.
The Office of the Brussels Commissioner for Europe and International Organisations acts as an interface between the international organisations and the Brussels Government and its Public Administrations (the “Region”). Incidentally, it may also help in liaising with the municipal levels.
The different administrative levels you may find in Brussels are the following:
The Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs organizes Belgium’s official host nation policy and concludes so-called seat agreements with all intergovernmental organisations on Belgian territory and interacts with all representations of foreign states on its territory, i.e. embassies, consulates or other representations.
The Brussels-Capital Region is one of the three regional entities of the Belgian federal state, alongside Flanders and Wallonia, and counts numerous public administrations that deal with a wide range of competences on the Brussels territory, such as the environment, the economy, tourism, housing, mobility, employment and vocational education.
The French speaking community is active in Brussels through the Commission communautaire française (COCOF), in charge of the following matters: education, welfare, leisure, sports and in cultural matters.
This entity is in charge of all the institutions on matters of social and health issues who are not affiliated, respectively, to the Flemish nor the French speaking Community but common to the two communities in the Brussels-Capital Region.
The Brussels-Capital Region is divided into nineteen municipal territories that all have their own mayor and aldermen (“bourgmestre et échevins”), a municipal council and an administration. Communes act in all matters which are of a communal interest, such as local police, public welfare centre, communal roads and parks, finances, sports infrastructure, town planning, etc.