Association of the City and the Municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region

The Association of the City and the Municipalities of the BrusselsCapital Region (AVCB/VSGB) is a non-profit organisation established and managed by the local authorities within the Region and aimed at providing them with services. The City and the Municipalities are part of the Association as active members, together with the Public Centres for Social Welfare (CPAS/OCMW) and inter-municipal associations as supporting members.


1 representative organisation…



Only the municipalities have a deliberative vote in the General Assembly, according to the following principle:

1 MUNICIPALITY = 1 VOTE

The Public Centres for Social Welfare and the inter-municipal associations are also invited to the Assembly on a consultative basis. The aim of the Assembly is to appoint the administrators of the Association on the following basis:

1 MUNICIPALITY = 1 SEAT

The Board of Administrators is then completed by a maximum of 18 co-opted administrators to maintain both political and linguistic balance within the Association. These co-optation has also to be approved by the General Assembly.

All actions and positions have to be previously agreed within the Board of administrators. Moreover, the General Assembly must also approve the report of its action as well as the accounts and the budget of the Association.


… and independent



The municipalities pay an annual contribution in decreasing proportion to their population. The contribution of the Public Centres for Social Welfare is calculated according to population figures and the infrastructure for the elderly. The inter-municipal associations only pay a fixed contribution which only covers the dissemination of general information.

These contributions are by far the most important source of income for the Association.

Additional incomes are mainly provided by the sale of services and publications. The Association is also financially supported by the bank DEXIA and the insurance company ETHIAS, both specialised in delivering services to the local authorities, and indirectly by the Region itself, which provides the Association with subsided contractual agents.

Together with the representation of, and the control over, its management organs, this financing structure is the best guarantee of the Association's independence.


Two privileged partners



The Union of Belgian Cities and Municipalities (UVCB/VBSG) is the organ from which the Association, like its Walloon and Flemish sister-associations, was created owing to the regionalisation of October 29 th, 1993, with the constitution of a non-profit organisation.

The Association has in this way acquired all the necessary competence to deal not only with regional matters but also with federal and international matters. The Union of Belgian Cities and Municipalities remains, however, the place where the international representation of the local authorities is determined and where deliberation on federal matters is officially undertaken. It should also be noted that community matters are managed directly and consensually with the Walloon and Flemish sister- associations.

Moreover, if the Association is today able to deal with all the matters and provide the whole range of services to the Region's local authorities, it has to be pointed out that these matters and services are managed via multiple partnerships with the Walloon and Flemish Associations with which it also shares the common remaining services. The three regional associations remain indeed grouped, with the Union of Belgian Cities and Municipalities, in the offices at 53, rue d'Arlon in Brussels.

Concerted actions are also undertaken with the Conference of Mayors of the Brussels-Capital Region, taking advantage of their respective complementary resources, with due consideration to the specificity of each institution. This partnership concerns the mutual exchange of information, the collaboration on an intellectual level, and the discussion of the political steps.


Three essential missions



Protection and Promotion



The aim of the Association is to help the local authorities in fulfilling their mission in the service of the citizen by ensuring their protection and their promotion. Its goal: to ensure the autonomy of the local authorities for the benefit of local democracy.

This action is enacted at all levels: regional, community, federal and international, within the framework of the above mentioned structures.

This action passes via the close contacts that the Association maintains with the Governments, the Parliaments and the Administrations. The Association also represents the local authorities in numerous official consultative organs.

This action crystallises with the formulation of laws, decrees or ordinances …, or also amendments to different projects on which the Association is regularly consulted. Most often it provides advice and communicates its position, either publicly or with the due discretion to ensure a satisfactory outcome to its intervention.

This whole action passes via the political organs of the Association, such as the Board of Administrators which constitutes a compulsory stage.


Support and advice



This mission of protection and promotion relies on the work of the research service whose first task is to prepare the work of the Board of Administrators.

This service also oversees the secretariat of various commissions and work groups, made up of local officials and representatives, who examine the concrete problems encountered by the municipalities and the Public Centres for Social Welfare. It also represents the Association in the commissions and the work groups put together by external authorities, particularly in the ministerial cabinets and the administrations, each time the technicality of the discussion requires it.

The research service is also directly at the members disposal : it answers more than half a thousand queries per year on the various matters the municipalities and the Public Centres for Social Welfare are confront with.

Last but not least, the Association also assists its members in preparing projects and applying for fundings, particularly those concerning the European Union.


Training and information



At the request of its members, the Association can undertake research on local matters, documentary or not. This service also includes European matters.

Without waiting for requests and queries from its political organs or its members, the research service of the Association also disseminates information. To this end, it contributes to various magazines and specialised publications.

In this way, its liaison bulletin for information, reflexion and exchange Trait d'Union-Nieuwsbrief is distributed on a larger scale to municipal representatives and officials within the Region. The Association also takes part in the composition of both the Mouvement communal and Lokaal, community reflexion magazines dealing with various aspects of municipal management.

The Association issues flyers with a Brussels version of the "New Municipal Law" in two languages and with legal references, and also issues the Compendium of the Public Centres for Social Welfare of Brussels.

The research department also participates into the management of the telematic database "inforum", an appreciated source of legal and administrative information, which is directly accessible to the local administrations on the "Publilink" network set up by Dexia and on Internet. A web-site allows getting general information about the Association and several reference documents.

Finally, this overview would not be complete without mentioning the commitment of the Association to the training of the personnel of the municipalities and the Public Centres for Social Welfare, a matter in which it has always been very involved. Its activity lies within the framework of the "Regional School of Public Administration" (ERAP/GSOB) where it intervenes financially and on various managerial levels.
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