Germany and Belgium: Bilateral relations

27.02.2024 - Article

Belgium and Germany share important joint interests and work closely and well together. As founding members of the EU, they have forged close ties through decades of joint efforts to build and deepen the Union, as well as common views on its future course and approaches to current challenges. Belgium also shares security interests with the EU. Belgium and Germany liaise closely on international and economic issues, including in the Council of the European Union.

Germany is the most important partner country for Belgium’s export sector, while Belgium is Germany’s eleventh largest trading partner. In 2023, according to preliminary calculations, the trade volume between Germany and Belgium totalled 112.9 billion euro. Belgium has a trade deficit with Germany (Federal Statistical Office Destatis). Antwerp is a major port for Germany, particularly for Land North Rhine-Westphalia, for both imports and exports. Germany’s main investments in Belgium are in the chemical industry in Antwerp, in car manufacturing in Brussels, and in aviation, as well as increasingly in the pharmaceutical and the biotech industry. A large number of German companies have branch offices in Belgium.

Germany's cultural relations policy in Belgium focuses on promoting German culture and language. German is the third official language. It is spoken by nearly 80,000 Belgians in the German-speaking Community, in the east of the country. Together with partners such as the Goethe-Institut in Brussels, the Belgian association of German scholars and teachers, and the region of East Belgium, the Week for German is held every year throughout the country in schools, universities and universities of applied sciences. A series of Germany Year programmes organised by universities in recent years has presented a modern image of Germany. Furthermore, commemoration of the two world wars remains an important part of our bilateral relations to this day.


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