European and regional context
Brussels - the capital of Europe brings together European institutions with representatives of various stakeholders that are in constant contact with European policies: hundreds of representatives of regions and cities in the EU Member States and non-EU networks and their associations, NGOs, networks and business associations, consulting companies, think-thank's, thousands of journalists and other media representatives.
European cities and regions and even non-European countries are represented in Brussels and according to the latest statistics from the month of December 2012 are officially registered by the Brussels Region approximately 240 regions, cities and associations with their own permanently office. Regions from states of West, North, South and Central Europe are present with own representation offices in Brussels, some of which were created and functioning immediately after EU accession in the 80's - 90's. Due to the synergy and cooperation of all stakeholders, in this moment Assembly of European Regions statistics signals the existence of over 350 representative bodies present in Brussels with who are in permanent contact.
Aims of these representation structures generally target: lobbying activities, promoting the image and interests of stakeholder represented, developing cooperation with European institutions, monitor and support the creation and implementation of European policies, identification and development of opportunities for regions or cities represented.
Following the analysis of the European context and the needs to promote the image and interests of the agency and the North-East Region, in 2009 it was decided to set up a representative office in Brussels. In January 2010, the agency received the official certificate of RDA Office representation in Brussels, signed by Foreign Minister of the Brussels Region.
Since February 8, 2010, Brussels Representation Office of the North-East Regional Development Agency become operational.