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Belgium and the EU

Latest business news about Belgium and the European Union.

Leuven is Europe's Capital of Innovation 2020
The city of Leuven in Belgium is the European Capital of Innovation 2020, in recognition of its excellent innovation concepts as well as its processes and governance models that enable ideas come to life.

EU probes alleged aid to Belgian glass producer Ducatt
The EU opened an in-depth probe Thursday to assess whether EUR 40m of financial support granted by publicly-owned Flemish investment companies LRM and PMV to Belgian producer of glass for solar panels Ducatt was in line with EU state aid rules.

EUR 1.8m EU aid to help redundant Belgian workers
The EU Commission is proposing to provide Belgium with EUR 1.8 million to help 488 workers made redundant by several manufacturers of construction machinery in the Wallonia region.

Belgian "Excess Profit" tax scheme - European Commission
The European Commission concluded on 11 January that selective tax advantages granted by Belgium under its "excess profit" tax scheme are illegal under EU state aid rules. The scheme has benefited at least 35 multinationals mainly from the EU, who must now return unpaid taxes to Belgium.

Public holidays in Belgium
Belgium has twelve official public holidays. Two of them always fall on a Sunday. Other holidays are also celebrated, but these are not official public holidays, and employers are not obliged to give their employees a day off. However, some employers do award a day's holiday in accordance with union negotiations.

Belgium: country overview
Belgium's modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. The most important sectors of Belgium’s economy in 2015 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.5 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.7 %) and industry (16.3 %). Belgium's main export partners are Germany, France and the Netherlands while its main import partners are the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Doing business in Belgium: Environmental rules
The following guidlines provide information about the environmental regulations in Belgium that help companies run sustainable businesses without adversely impacting the environment.

Doing business in Belgium: Staff welfare
Social legislation in Belgium prohibits discrimination and advocates equal opportunity and gender equality. Employers are responsible for promoting welfare within the company.

Doing business in Belgium: Sustainability
The following guidlines provide information about the environmental regulations in Belgium that help companies run sustainable businesses without adversely impacting the environment.

Belgium-Umicore arrangement 'not state aid': Commission
The European Commission has closed its investigation into an arrangement between Belgium and Belgian-based multinational materials technology company UMICORE, which it says does not constitute state aid.

European Commission approves restructuring of Belgian insurance company Ethias
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €1.5 billion recapitalisation provided by Belgium in the context of the restructuring of Ethias, a Belgian insurer that ran into severe difficulties in 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis.

Belgium's curb on foreign students criticized by EU Court
The European court of Justice has ruled that Belgium should provide evidence that a 2006 Decree, which limits the number of foreign students enrolling in medical schools to 30%, is appropriate and proportionate.

Setting up a business in Belgium
In Belgium, as in many other countries, it is possible to set up a business as a sole proprietor (any natural person acting on their own account), or as a legal entity (companies).

European Commission Representation in Belgium
Contacts of the European Commission representation in Belgium

Access to Finance
Ownership equity is the most common form of financing when setting up a business in Belgium. At first, it is the starting capital invested in the company by its owner. Subsequently, it can also be generated earnings that are reinvested in the company.

Belgium Investment Climate 2009
Belgium has traditionally maintained an open economy, highly dependent on imports and international trade for its well-being. Since WWII, foreign investment has played a vital role in the Belgian economy, providing technology and employment. Both the federal and the regional governments encourage foreign investment on a national treatment basis. Foreign corporations account for about one-third of the top 3,000 corporations in Belgium.

Belgium and the euro
Belgium is a founding member of the European Union and was one of the first-wave EU countries to adopt the euro on 1 January 1999.

Find an office in Belgium
Instant Offices Belgium

Find an office in Belgium
Instant Offices Belgium

Belgium country profile
Belgium is a founder member of the European Union and a member of the euro zone. It is a hereditary Constitutional Monarchy and a Federal State. The country is divided into three main regions: Flanders, Walloon and Brussels, the capital city.

Federation of Enterprise in Belgium
The Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB) is the only multi-sector employers' organisation representing companies in all three regions of Belgium. Its members, Belgium's leading sectoral federations, represent companies in key industrial and service sectors.

Taxation and Investment in Belgium (Deloitte)
The Taxation and Investment Guides are a first stop for investors wishing to gain a working perspective on the operating conditions and investment climate – including the legal, accounting and taxation framework – in the countries covered in the Deloitte International Tax Source. In addition to the Belgium Highlights and Taxation and Investment Guide, above, country links open the door to the Deloitte International Tax Source and a wide range of materials and information on the tax consequences of doing business across borders.

Doing Business in Belgium (HLBI)
Guide from HLB International, which produces a series of international booklets on accounting, taxation and company law information.