Lille and Brussels, which are quite close both in geographic and in cultural terms, enjoy a long-standing partnership (since 1996), and are maintaining excellent relations with each other. The two regions were therefore interested in giving new momentum to their cooperation, choosing to orient exchanges on common areas, challenges and interests.
On 2 May, Damien Castelain, the President of the Métropole Européenne de Lille (MEL), visited Brussels to sign a new cooperation agreement with Guy Vanhengel, the Brussels Minister of External Relations.
An agreement with three major priorities
Several preparatory meetings were organised in the run-up to the signing of the agreement to draft a text that focused on three contemporary topics: attractiveness, sustainable regional development, and the European Union and the international level.
The reworked agreement, which was drafted by experienced leaders in their respective fields (visit.brussels, perspective.brussels, Brussels International and its delegation to the European Union on behalf of Brussels), paves the way for focused thematic discussions and tangible achievements. The dedicated working groups will work around tourism, major events and projects, urban planning and renewal, mobility, and several European and international programmes.
The meetings were organised at the visitor centre of the Brussels-Capital Region (BIP) for a very specific reason. The BIP is currently hosting an exhibition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Brussels-Capital Region and the 150th anniversary of tramways in Brussels. The exhibition focuses on this simultaneously historic and contemporary means of public transport, and features old models of tramways as well as a life-size scale model of a “new generation” tram.
To read the full press release about the cooperation between two cities, check the Brussels International website.