Aula Magna's genesis


Aula Magna grew out of an initiative on the part of a small group of Brussels residents who wanted to reflect on the future of their city-region.

Starting point

The initiators of the Aula Magna group, involved in many different ways in their city-region, started from two observations.

Firstly, their city is currently facing many challenges, some of which have to be dealt with beyond the boundaries of the Region if they are to be successfully resolved. They believe that their city-region is both a fragile entity and a place with a promising future.

Secondly, Brussels, which is simultaneously the capital of Europe, Belgium, Flanders and the French Community is never the subject of long-term, multidisciplinary reflection free from the short-term constraints related to political negotiations on the Belgian institutional model.

Worse still, reflections on the city-region (and even more so the decisions that ensue) are nearly always made by people who are not Brussels residents. This in itself is not a problem, providing Brussels residents, who are the most affected by these decisions, are not left out of these debates.

However, we cannot help but recognize that Brussels residents are largely absent from these debates. And not only because there are not many of them in the Flemish and Francophone parties, the majority of whose supporters live in the two other regions of the country.

There are several other reasons:

Brussels residents often think that the development of their city is self-evident, even if nothing is less true.

Moreover, as they are disinclined to challenge the Belgian federal model and even less inclined to advocate separatism, they feel little need to look for a new balance.

Finally, some of them have resigned themselves to accepting that their city’s fate does not lie in their hands.


The initiators of Aula Magna feel that a broad and diversified group of Brussels residents, working in a structured manner, can engage in thorough and non-partisan reflection on what is first and foremost a city project. In this way, they hope to bring to light the realities of this urban entity, recent developments and those foreseeable in the short and medium term.

They also hope to identify the problems and find tentative solutions, in the form of proposals that are statutory, legislative or even constitutional but above all economic, social and cultural, relying on both the private and the public sectors.







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