The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Bulletin survey reveals the international community's priorities for improving life in Brussels

21:45 19/04/2018

Cutting traffic, fighting air pollution and making the city's streets cleaner are the top priorities for expats in Brussels, according to a wide-ranging survey of the international community by The Bulletin, in partnership with Vote Brussels, ahead of our Brussels Moves! debate on 26 April.

The online poll of 840 people found strong demand among foreigners to have more of a say in local democracy. Almost three quarters of respondents said non-Belgians should be given the right to vote in the Brussels region elections - and two-thirds of non-Belgians said they would vote in next year's regional election if they could.

Ahead of this October's municipal elections, 39% of non-Belgians said they would definitely be voting - but half of these respondents have yet to register. The deadline is 31 July and you can find out more in this Bulletin article. Another 30% said they might vote. Among those who were not fully interested in voting, more than half did not know if they were eligible, or how to proceed.

On quality of life in Brussels, we found out that:

  • 91% of people agree that more measures are needed to improve traffic
  • 86% believe the city's streets are dirty
  • 75% say there is a lot of poverty in Brussels
  • The top five priorities to improve the city are: fight air pollution, street and infrastructure repairs, lower car traffic, more green spaces and more street cleaning

But, on a positive note:

  • 81% like living in Brussels
  • Most respondents say the city has a good cultural offer (80%), good restaurants (74%) and good healthcare (66%)

Public transport divided opinion, with just 51% saying the service was good. And only 19% of respondents agreed that the city was a good place for cyclists.

The Brussels Moves! survey was conducted online in the first half of April. About 85% of the respondents were aged between 25 and 54 and more than three quarters were employees.

Of the 840 people surveyed, almost three quarters of respondents were non-Belgian EU citizens. Another 14% were non-EU nationals - mostly from North America or European countries not part of the EU. Across the Brussels region, non-Belgians account for a third of the population.

The results were analysed for The Bulletin by Vote Brussels, a non-partisan campaign coordinated by Migration Policy Group, co-funded by the EU Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 of the European Union, and part of the FAIREU project led by the European Citizen Action Service.



I have been here since 1990 and in fact, it is interesting to see that almost all the issues have remained the same. There has been a good body of opinion and knowledge about what the issues are - there just have been little visible evidence that those in charge want to, or can make any change. maybe this time, there will be improvement - says the optimist!

Apr 23, 2018 09:11