48,000 people employed by international institutions in Brussels

According to research by BISA, the Brussels regional bureau for statistics, international institutions such as the EU provide 7% of all employment in the Brussels-Capital Region. The institutions employ both Belgians and foreigners. Three-quarters of those employed by international institutions live in Brussels.

Reports about the study appear in a number of Saturday morning’s newspapers including ‘De Standaard’ and ‘L’Echo’.

The figure 48,000 people employed at international institutions includes those employed at the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Council, the European schools…, as well as those employed by embassies and consular facilities. The lion’s share of these are situated in just three municipalities: the City of Brussels, Elsene and Etterbeek. With a few exceptions, the other municipalities hardly feature at all. 20% (9,600) of those working at international institutions have Belgian nationality. The Italians form the large group of foreigners (11% of the total). 9% of those working at international institutions are French, 8% are Spanish and 6% are German. 

The figure of 72% of those working in Brussels’ international institutions also living in the city is much higher than among the workforce at large. Just 41% of those employed by elsewhere in the capital also live in Brussels.  

The study also found that those working at international institutions are on average older than the workforce at large. 86% of those working for international institutions are 35 or older, compared with 69% of those working elsewhere in the capital.  



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