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Ideas sought to improve expat welcome in Brussels
Expats in Brussels are invited to a series of brainstorming sessions that will look at how to make the city more welcoming and help foreigners better integrate into local life.
Etterbeek town hall is organising the sessions as part of a European project, APProach, which examines new ways of "connecting EU mobile citizens with their host cities". Similar discussions are being held in cities from Paris and Lisbon to Milan and Athens.
A spokesman said the brainstorming sessions aimed to "explore the expectations, obstacles and recommendations regarding the reception and integration of expats in Etterbeek and Brussels".
Topics up for discussion include access to voting, registering children in local schools, participating in local life, housing, mobility and e-government.
The findings will also be used to help better train municipal staff on how to welcome expats, including further English courses and the possible launch of new online tools. "One of the objectives is to improve the municipality's online services," the town hall spokesman added.
Four discussions are planned - on 19 and 25 February at 14.00-16.00 for professionals and 20.00-22.00 for the general public. Each meeting takes place at Etterbeek town hall on Avenue d'Auderghem.
The meetings will be in a mix of English, French and Dutch. Registration is free and must be done no later than 15 February by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org