The Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs is in charge of all of the Government of Flanders’ international relations. It coordinates Flanders’ international and European activities and therefore takes the lead in Flanders’ relations with foreign governments, the European Union and international organizations.
More specifically, the following tasks have been entrusted to the Department:
- the development of cooperation with foreign partners;
- the rule-making process and transposition of European legislation and the conclusion and ratification of international treaties;
- international and European trade policy;
- Flanders’ development cooperation, with a geographical focus on Southern Africa;
- monitoring import, export and transfer of weapons and strategic goods from Flanders.
To execute these tasks, the Department has a budget of around 46 million euros and it relies on the enthusiasm and dedication of its personnel, which includes:
- around a hundred staff members at its head office in Brussels;
- the interdepartmental Flemish team at the Belgian permanent representation to the European Union in Brussels, led by a General Representative;
- ten General Representations of the Government of Flanders, accredited to the governments of neighbouring countries and a number of well-chosen countries and international organizations:
- The Netherlands, The Hague,
- Germany, Berlin ,
- France, Paris,
- UNESCO, OECD and Council of Europe, Paris,
- United Kingdom and Ireland, London,
- Spain, Madrid,
- Poland and the Baltic States, Warsaw,
- Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czech Republic, Vienna,
- United States of America and Canada, New York,
- Southern Africa, Pretoria and
- the United Nations, Geneva.