Brochure Kanselarij België ENG 09-06-2009 00:56 Pagina 9 The Communities 9 Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and was interests. This skill has been further underlined also one of the six founder Member States of by the fact that no fewer than four Belgians what has today become the European Union. have been awarded Nobel Peace Prizes. The latter, in addition to its central location within Europe, has earned Brussels the title of New Belgium Capital of Europe. After almost 30 years of federalism, the new Belgiums history as a diplomatic buffer be- Belgium has a completely different image. tween major powers and, on occasions, as the Today, the newly formed state of 1830 is dra- victim of the latters ambitions, has naturally matically changed: the King, the federal govern- Flemish Community made the country a world expert in how organi- ment and the federal parliament have been French Community sations and states can best seek peace – so joined by a range of associated institutions German-speaking Community much so, in fact, that Belgians have carved out whose powers have increased with each suc- an established reputation and recognised skill cessive wave of state reform. Federal bodies in devising solutions for complex and multicul- retain authority in the fields of justice, finance, tural societies which take account of all parties social security, defence, foreign affairs, law and The Regions order and the police service. State reform in Belgium is a dynamic process Belgian Nobel Laureates and each wave gradually facilitates and balan- ces out a little more the manner in which the 1977 Chemistry: Ilya Prigogine countrys institutions operate; it is certainly a 1974 Physiology or Medicine: peaceful way of reconciling Belgiums long- Albert Claude and Christian De Duve standing heritage of Roman and Germanic influ- 1958 Peace: George Pire 1938 Physiology or Medicine: Corneille Heymans ences. 1919 Physiology or Medicine: Jules Bordet The Belgian model, as it were, has almost be- 1913 Peace: Henri La Fontaine come a trademark and Belgium is often cited 1911 Literature: Maurice Maeterlinck internationally as a shining example of peaceful Flemish Region 1909 Peace: August Beernaert cohabitation. It also stands out on account of Walloon Region 1904 Peace: Ghents Institute of International its emphasis on individual cultural autonomy Brussels Capital Region Law within the country. A fresh wave of state reform in Belgium is currently on the agenda.
Brochure Kanselarij België ENG 09-06-2009 00:57 Pagina 31 B ELG I U M AND B RUSSELS IN A WO RLD CO NTEXT 31 for Belgian managers. Belgium adopted the aforementioned poles of competence model linking businesses with hotbeds of entrepre- neurial activity in a bid to encourage syner- gies between academia and business, and the funding made available for this venture is designed to help apply the findings from basic research in practical contexts. Last but not least, of course, there is also Belgiums legendary hospitality – another reason why it is a perennial favourite with investors and those seeking the ideal location for their company headquarters and R&D centres. Belgium attracts over 5% of all in- vestment in Europe, an achievement ranking it only fifth behind four of its much larger European counterparts. Belgium, then, is becoming an even more favoured location among foreign investors – more so than it already was; its certainly the place to be!