Brussels History

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is a cosmopolitan city, international financial center and headquarters of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O.). Despite its European dimension and despite all the different languages spoken on the corner of every street, Brussels is still inspired by a very "village-like" spirit. Of course, it’s well known for its Grand-Place, Atomium, Manneken-Pis, Gueuze, Kriek, waffles and chocolates.

Belgium was invaded by Germany in 1914 and again in 1940. Those invasions, plus disillusionment over postwar Soviet behavior, made Belgium one of the foremost advocates of collective security within the framework of European integration and the Atlantic partnership.

Since 1944, when British, Canadian, and American armies liberated Belgium, the country has lived in security and at a level of increased well-being.

Language, economic, and political differences between Dutch-speaking Flanders and Francophone Wallonia have led to increased divisions in Belgian society. The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and the 19th century accentuated the linguistic North-South division. Francophone Wallonia became an early industrial boom area, affluent and politically dominant. Dutch-speaking Flanders remained agricultural and was economically and politically outdistanced by Brussels and Wallonia. The last 50 years have marked the rapid economic development of Flanders, resulting in a corresponding shift of political and economic power to the Flemish, who now constitutes an absolute majority (58%) of the population.

Brussels - venue of BMJD Congress

Scientific Program

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November 18, 2013


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