Brussels is a capital city in many ways: it’s the capital of Belgium; it’s the capital of the Flanders region, where 60% of the populace live; it’s the capital of the European Union, where numerous EU institutions are located. They include the European Parliament, the European Council, ‘Council of the European Union’ (sometimes mistaken for the European Council), Committee of the Regions, and the major administrative branch of the European Union, the European Commission. The Commission is the largest employer in Brussels. The European Union Cyclists’ Group (EUCG ) counts 1300 members from staff of the Institutions of the European Union in Brussels. There are about 210 foreign embassies and consulates in Brussels. NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) headquarters in Brussels is the political headquarters of the organization and the seat of the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s political decision-making body. Also, the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) is based there.
Brussels is thus the centre of European politics. But Brussels has a fascinating and old history dating to the 11th C. It began as a small dukedom which was the size of the current downtown. In 1830 Belgium became independent and Brussels became the capital of Belgium under a new king and parliament. Find out more about the interesting facts of Belgium through a mixture of facts, history, cultural traditions and political infrastructure.
Brussels is one of three regions in Belgium, and as such is made up of 19 separate communes. It has a population of just over 1,000,000 within an area of 161.4 sq km.
In Brussels cargo bicycles will be made available for loans to businesses and municipal services for them to test out the cargo bicycles as part of their everyday operations. A “Shop by Bike” campaign will take place to make clear the opportunity shoppers have to bring their purchases home by bike rather than by car.
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), representing national cyclists’ groups from all over Europe, works to promote the idea of “moving goods by cycle” among a wide variety of actors and stakeholders. The Institutions of the European Union, the embassies and consulates, as well as NATO’s HQ, will be some of the places the ECF lobbies for cycling logistics. The ECF will also use its large network to draw attention to cyclelogistics in national and international press. ECF will work with the cycle industry, and lobby large international chain stores to support customers’ transport of purchases with cargo bikes and standard bikes and provide optimal infrastructure for bicycles, trailers, etc.
ECF is also responsible for overseeing consumer testing and reporting on various bicycle transport products (cargo bikes, trailers, bags & baskets), and therefore encouraging their uptake by giving potential consumers across Europe (private, business and governments) access to valuable information.