Category Archives: policy

Pathways to a Competitive Future

for Brussels and Antwerp

Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each has its own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that is it that makes a city competitive?

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM – June 02, 2017: Night view on the illuminated Port House building designed by Zaha Hadid architect in 2009 in Antwerpen city, Belgium

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Single Permit Update

Flanders introduces new policies on employment of foreign nationals

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As a result of the 6th state reform in 2014, the legislative competence as regards the employment of foreigners has been transferred to the regional level. The regions have been empowered to develop their own policies on the employment of foreign workers in function of the specific needs of their labour market. Flanders is first amongst the three regions to introduce new policies in this area. Brussels might follow the example in the next legislature while the Walloon region seems not to prioritize this policy area. Fragomen met with the cabinet of Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports, this October and reports back on this topic.

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Twenty First Century Pandemic

managing burnout in the workplace

First coined as a term in the seventies, over the years burnout has not just become widely recognised, but has rooted itself firmly into our society.  To give you an idea of the pandemic proportions it has taken on, the Japanese and Chinese even have terms for ‘death-by-burnout’, caused by the alarming rate of suicides due to stress. It’s easy to blame the employer, but often times contributing factors are not necessarily within the company’s control. Tackling burnout instead means maintaining a careful balance between the professional and personal.

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Leuven MindGate

laying the foundations for Belgium’s first International House
Leuven MindGate

Mohamed Ridouani, alderman for SP.A in Leuven

Let’s make an equation containing three elements: city + international companies + (international) talent. The desired outcome: an attractive environment, wealth, social cohesion. Or, in other words, an attractive brand. You, dear reader, will surely be aware that a happy worker is a happy company is a happy city is a happy resident is a happy worker…. ReLocate has recently focused on a number of things that can contribute to a companies’ wellbeing – and their employees – today we’d like to focus on what cities can do. A survey among 1.264 international workers tells us: a lot.

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Creatives International

Flanders DC: the ultimate cross-fertilisation stomping ground

pascal cools flanders dc

Fashion designer Dries Van Noten and multi disciplinary artist Koen Vanmechelen, to name just two, are both ambassadors of the Flemish creative industry that will likely ring a bell for most people. Successful examples, not only because of the quality of their work, but thanks to their business-spirit too. The Flemish government cherishes and stimulates this kind of creative entrepreneur and in order to offer them a platform created Flanders DC in 2004. Flanders DC could be considered the ultimate stomping ground for a healthy cross-fertilisation of business, technology and (artistic) creativity. So what’s in it for Belgium? Fertile soil for international companies and a future proof job market.

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Mobility after Brexit

the business and individual perspectives

brexit and immigration to belgium

The general take on Brexit is that there is much uncertainty surrounding the outcome of any negotiations. Let’s remember that change is good, and along with uncertainty there is always possibility. In the modus operandi of the British populace: “Keep Calm and Carry On”, how can businesses calmly tackle this uncertainty, not only for their own operational purposes but also to ensure that their employees, both present and future, are reassured of their legal standing? How can individuals carry on and protect their rights to work, study or just reside in their adopted EU member state?

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The Millennial Workplace

opportunity to progress and aligning values

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degree of importance to millennials

In most markets, work-life balance comes before career progression when evaluating job opportunities. Figure: relative degree of importance (excluding salary).

With millennials generally getting a bad rap and preconceptions abounding on how the “entitled generation” views both the workplace and the world at large, it would be easy to dismiss them offhand as serious prospects for employment.  Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey tells us that 44% of millennials already have one foot out of the door and are planning on leaving their organisation in the next two years: a statistic that will surely have most employers close to tears with frustration. But what does being a millennial in the workplace actually mean?  What is it that we are doing so very differently than our parents before us that is making us the topic of the decade?

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Conscious Capitalism

and its effect on global mobility

conscious capitalism

With its rousing theme ‘Social Values: Better Business’ this year’s EuRA conference promised to bring new insights into how we live and work.  It will come as little surprise to you that, as a people, our standards and desires are changing.  Where once we were perfectly content with the supermarket’s ‘basic’ label, we now prefer organic.  We want our eggs to be free range, our vegetables to come from a local farmer and our pigs to be given the chance to frolic in the mud before becoming our breakfast bacon.

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