Expatica news

Brussels suffering from bad reputation

9 May 2007

BRUSSELS – Brussels is suffering from a bad reputation. This is what Brussels minister Guy Vanhengel said on Wednesday during the presentation of a report on the “moving patterns of the Dutch speaking population group to and from the Brussels region.”

Professor Rudi Janssens of the Vrije University Brussels conducted the study. According to the report, more Flemings and French speakers are moving out of Brussels than are moving in.

The Dutch-speakers are mainly annoyed at the lack of bilingual services in the capital, Janssens says. “They are not bothered by the multilingual or multicultural environment, that is in fact a positive point, but they are annoyed that they cannot use their own language at the town hall or in health care,” he added.

Janssens’ study also talks about the poor reputation of education in the capital.

“So Brussels is wrestling with an image problem,” Vanhengel said. This is why it is important for the city to stress its positive points.

“Multilingualism is the city’s trump card,” Vanhengel said. The minister pointed out that an earlier study by Janssens showed that multilingualism in Brussels is gaining in importance. “So we must promote multilingualism and make it a main point on the agenda,” the minister said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news