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Provides administrative support to small entities in Brussels
Provides administrative support to small entities in Brussels

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WHY ARE THE EU HEADQUARTERS IN BRUSSELS?

Brussels, with its strategic location in the heart of Europe, has a long history of hosting many of the institutions that make up the European Union in an area of the city known as the European Quarter. The most important institutions of the European Union base their operations there, including the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament.
 
However, it took a long time for Brussels to earn this honor. The process of establishing where to house the assemblies of Europe was a long and difficult one. Since the establishment of the Treaty of Paris in 1951, which formed the first of many European councils that would later become the European Union, many countries and cities vied for the honor. Officials wanted to house all of the major bodies in a central location, but it took many years of debate to decide where. In preparation for the final decision, the Belgian government began building facilities to host European officials in 1958. 

A Committee of Experts eventually decided on Brussels to serve as the headquarters based on a variety of factors necessary for an unofficial European capital. One reason is because Brussels is a populated and active city with little congestion and quality housing for civil servants. It maintained good communications with other member states and had access to commercial markets by land and sea. The system of transportation in Belgium was effective and widespread, allowing easy travel for dignitaries from other member states. It had established a thriving center of business and economic activity. 

In addition, it bridges the gap between the Latin and Germanic civilizations of Europe. Belgium is considered a neutral territory among European powers. A final agreement among the member states was reached in 1992 and later became a part of the Treaty of Amsterdam. 
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