Belgian Presidency of the European Union: Perspective at the heart of the organisation!
Perspective will be in charge of "Urban Policies" during the Belgian Presidency of the EU
From 1 January 2024 to 30 June 2024, Belgium will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). Perspective is fully involved in this Presidency as head of the "Urban Policies" section.
The Presidency of the Council of the EU
The Council of the European Union, often referred to as the "Council", represents the governments of the various Member States, bringing together ministers or secretaries of state in different configurations according to their areas of competence.
Every six months, the Presidency of the Council rotates to one of the Member States. This country then chairs meetings of the different configurations and organises a number of events and meetings bringing together both political representatives and experts.
There are no elections for this presidency: each of the EU Member States assumes this title for a period of six months in turn and according to a predefined order. This means that every Member State, large or small, holds the Council Presidency at any given time.
2024, Belgium as president!
In the first half of 2024, it is Belgium's turn to take on this role!
Our country will be responsible for driving forward the Council's work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda, orderly legislative processes and cooperation among member states.
A true arbitrator of meetings, the President acts as an honest and neutral intermediary. However, by participating in the definition of the European agenda, Belgium will have the opportunity to make the priorities it considers essential central to European discussions.
Perspective, an organisational link
Within the framework of this Presidency, the different Council configurations to be chaired and events to be organised have been divided between the federal level, the federated entities and the community entities.
As a result, the Brussels-Capital Region and its administrations will be responsible for chairing events in two areas: urban policy, assigned to perspective.brussels, and the environment, in the hands of Brussels Environment. This preparation will be carried out in close collaboration with Brussels International and the Region's Permanent Representation to the EU.
Implementing the urban policy component
Urban policy is not an official EU competence. There is therefore no European legislation in this field, and decision-making powers are left to the Member States.
Nevertheless, by promoting discussions and organising meetings at both political and technical levels, the EU can encourage, drive and coordinate actions that have an influence on towns and cities: joint national actions or European actions in another EU area that has an influence on towns and cities, such as the environment.
As such, Member States deal with urban policy issues at an intergovernmental level within the Informal Council, which is also coordinated by the country holding the presidency.
During the Belgian Presidency of the EU, Perspective will be in charge of organising three meetings of the Informal Council, bringing together - among others - the technical contact points and Directors General of the ministries of the Member States, as well as members of the European institutions responsible for urban policy.
In addition to these three events, there will be a high-level meeting of mayors from major cities, a workshop on the urban agenda and a meeting of European urban planning agencies.
2023, a year of preparation ...
To ensure the smooth running of this exceptional event, Perspective has set up a special team within its "International, Europe, Interregional" unit. This team is already hard at work preparing for this presidency.
The specific programme is defined in close partnership with the offices of the relevant ministers and the various regional administrations involved (Brussels International, Brussels Environment, visit.brussels, urban.brussels, safe.brussels etc.), but also through meetings and discussions with various Belgian and European partners. The logistics organisation of the events is already well underway.