Outsourcing in Belgium


Capital: Brussels

Official EU language(s): Dutch, French, and German

EU member country: since 1 January 1958

Currency: euro. Euro area member since 1 January 1999.

Schengen: Schengen area member since 26 March 1995.

Figures: Geographical size – population – gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in PPS

Political System

Belgium operates as a federal constitutional monarchy, with the king serving as the head of state and the prime minister as the head of government in a multi-party system. Decision-making powers are decentralized across three levels of government: the federal government, three language-based communities (Flemish, French, and German-speaking), and three regions (Flanders, Brussels Capital, and Wallonia). Although legally equal, these entities have distinct powers and responsibilities across various fields. Brussels, alongside Luxembourg City and Strasbourg, serves as one of the three official seats of the European institutions.

Trade and Economy

The primary sectors of Belgium’s economy in 2020 were public administration, defense, education, human health, and social work activities (22.0%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation, and food services (17.7%), and industry (16.4%).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 65% of Belgium’s exports, with Germany (17%), France (14%), and the Netherlands (12%) being the main destinations, while 8% and 7% of exports go to the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

Regarding imports, 62% originate from EU Member States, predominantly the Netherlands (17%), Germany (14%), and France (10%), while outside the EU, 7% and 5% of imports are sourced from the United States and China, respectively.

Belgium in the EU

European Parliament

Belgium is represented by 21 members in the European Parliament.

European Parliament office in Belgium

Council of the European Union

Belgian government representatives participate in the Council of the EU to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies, depending on the policy area being addressed.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

Belgium has held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU on several occasions, including Jan-Jun 1958, Jan-Jun 1961, Jan-Jun 1964, Jan-Jun 1967, Jan-Jun 1970, Jan-Jun 1973, Jul-Dec 1977, Jan-Jun 1982, Jan-Jun 1987, Jul-Dec 1993, Jul-Dec 2001, Jul-Dec 2010, and Jan-Jun 2024.

European Commission

Didier Reynders, responsible for Justice, serves as Belgium’s nominated Commissioner to the European Commission. The Commission maintains a representation in Belgium.

European Economic and Social Committee

Belgium has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee, providing consultation on proposed laws affecting work and social situations.

European Committee of the Regions

Belgium also has 12 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, ensuring regional perspectives are considered in proposed laws.

Permanent representation to the EU

Belgium communicates with EU institutions through its permanent representatives based in Brussels, ensuring effective pursuit of the country’s interests and policies in the EU.

Budgets and Funding

EU-funded projects in Belgium benefit from contributions to the EU budget, supporting various initiatives across EU countries.