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Author Topic: Why Brussels?  (Read 2725 times) Average Rating: 0
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romanbyzantium
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« on: May 09, 2004, 03:21:25 PM »

I have wondered why Brussels was chosen as the headquaters of the E.U and not Madrid, Paris, London, Rome, or Athens?

Does anyone have any thoughts on the reasons why?

Btw, don't think that this another hidden agenda.........I can't hear it now!

"The little Euro troll is at it again"  Grin
« Last Edit: May 09, 2004, 04:17:41 PM by anastasios » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2004, 04:15:59 PM »

The little Euro troll is at it again Wink
« Last Edit: May 09, 2004, 04:17:50 PM by anastasios » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2004, 04:17:29 PM »

I would imagine it is because Brussels is an unobjectionable city in an unobjectionable country. There is no way the HQ could be in Paris, Rome, Berlin or London. None of these are 'neutral' locations.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2004, 04:18:37 PM »

Welcome back Peter!

The reason that I edited everyone's posts is to get rid of the extra question marks from RB's first title thread.  Let's just use one for each question Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2004, 04:20:28 PM »

Thanks for the welcome back Anastasios. I am refreshed after Great Lent, managed a trip to Cyprus with my wife during which I didn't log on to the internet at all, and now I am chilled and raring to go. Where's Linus7? :-)
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2004, 04:22:29 PM »

Welcome back, Peter; we've missed you.  Christ is risen!
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2004, 04:23:41 PM »

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

I've missed OC.net too but I was being strict with myself.

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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2004, 05:15:43 AM »

Good question, RB. Perhaps making one of the bigger and more powerful countries like France or Germany the HQ would have opened too many old wounds and rivalries. Also some of the alternative capitals you mention were not actually within membership of the EU initially in any case. Britain didn't join until 1973, so London could not have been considered before then. Belgium is small but has been at the centre of the major European conflicts and also has to handle competing ethnic/linguistic groups. Given that the EU originated in a desire to never again see the continent of Europe torn apart by war on the scale of WWI and II, maybe they were the logical choice. The big boys can't have everything!

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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2004, 10:34:00 AM »

Peter, haven't seen you in quite some time.  It's good to see you're still around Smiley

RB,

I think the others are right with the answer of Belgium being a more neutral country.  (Of course, they could have chosen Bern if they really wanted neutral Grin )  Also, being next door to the Hague was most likely also thought a major advantage.  The leadership of the EU is only a few hours from the leadership of th UN.
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 10:48:58 AM »

Welcome back, Subdn. Peter.  I was wondering if all was well with you when you didn't come back after Easter.  

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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2004, 10:53:44 AM »

I would add that Belgium is also a particularly fine place for beer.  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2004, 11:13:53 AM »

They wanted a country that was neither France nor Germany and, I believe, France pushed for Bruxelles because it is a francophone city.

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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2004, 11:20:53 AM »

Welcome back, Subdn. Peter.  I was wondering if all was well with you when you didn't come back after Easter.  

Hiya all, thanks for remembering me

I went to Cyprus and Scotland with my wife for a couple of weeks and didn't log on. Just chilled and tried to be a good husband.

Now I'm back I am trying hard not to argue with Linus7 straight away.  Wink

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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2004, 11:21:48 AM »

Actually I'm off to Belgium for a short break in a couple of weeks. I'll drink a few pints of beer for you Linus7.

I'm hoping to get to Bruges while I'm there and venerate some of the relics.

PT
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2004, 11:33:39 AM »

RB:  I would conjecture that it also  has something to do with the fact that Belgium is traditionally a buffer state.  It could not be in Berlin or Paris as they are rival enemies, etc.  

Peter welcome back!   I was hoping to surpas your post number before you got back, but what the hey Grin.  Anyways what is Bruges?  Perhaps it was staying up until 4:45 this morning and the fact I got up at 5:30 but I honestly can't remember who/what is there.

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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2004, 11:40:50 AM »

Hi Joe

It's quality not quantity of posts that matter.

Bruges is an ancient and beautiful city in Belgium. Among it's treasures are the veil of St Brigid of Kildare.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2004, 11:44:11 AM »

ah thank you!  you lucky duck.  Here in the states we don't such things (at least not too much--yet).

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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2004, 11:46:02 AM »

It is one of the benefits of living in Europe. Thank God Henry VIII and his successors didn't have any wider jurisdiction or there would be a whole load of relics less to venerate.

Peter
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2004, 11:49:48 AM »

indeed indeed.  Of course, with such high gas prices, I don't know if I could live in Europe. Wink

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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2004, 12:24:54 PM »

That's why everyone rides trains there. Grin
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2004, 12:26:18 PM »

well to be sure only half of me could live in Europe, the skinnyhalf since I would be walking/riding bikes just about everywhere I went. Wink

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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2004, 12:28:07 PM »

That's the idea.  I wished I lived in a city where I didn't have to own a car, I'd be a lot skinnier as well. Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2004, 12:30:41 PM »

well I don't own a car (or at least I dont' own one that runs or ever will run), but being in Podunk there is nothing to walk too.

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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2004, 12:35:09 PM »

What you think was there to be walking to in 19th century russia?  Podunk have field.  Podunk have bleak weather.  What else is to be needed to be walking toward?  Is outrage!
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2004, 12:40:43 PM »

lol! Don't make me bust a gut from laughing before lunch. Grin

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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2004, 12:41:16 PM »

Brussels it is, perhaps because, geographically, the beautiful City is at the crossroads, being within 1,000 km. (~400+ miles) of most western European capitals.

And Belgium has 3 official languages: Dutch (spoken by about 60%), French (spoken by about 40%), and German.

It helps that NATO has its headquarters in Brussels and most of the UN's organs in Europe are based in that City!

Get this. Although Brussels is geographically situated in the northern portion of Belgium (traditionally of the Dutch-speaking Flemings), French is the "lingua franca" in the City! Wink

(Vive le France!)

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