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Creation of the International Association Centre

Today, some 1,700 international non-profit associations have established their headquarters in Belgium. As early as 1907, the government of the time had envisaged the creation of a "Palace of International Associations".

Plans were prepared, modified many times, set aside during two world wars, taken up again, and finally given formal approval in 1982. The International Associations Centre (IAC-MAI) was created by royal decree of 8 December 1982 in the form of an establishment of public utility (today it is a foundation of public utility) .

It was inaugurated on 25 October 1983 by His Majesty King Baudouin, together with several members of the government and other public figures, such as Count Harmel, Minister of State and the first President of the IAC-MAI.

From the beginning, the IAC-MAI was fortunate to have the vigorous support of the authorities. The state made available a building at 40 rue Washington, at first free of charge and then under advantageous conditions.

The IAC-MAI offers its services to international non-profit associations (reception, information, centre for conferences and meetings) in the building in rue Washington and also in the annexe in rue Defacqz, which is also a state property.

In addition, the founders of the IAC-MAI wished the centre to make offices available to international associations with only a low budget. Finally, the centre has meeting rooms and other facilities available to such associations.

The service offered and the attraction of the IAC-MAI have, without doubt, made a positive contribution to the international image of Belgium and of Brussels.

Its activities fit particularly well with the authorities policy of providing a welcome for international organisations. For the last ten years, the interest of federal and regional authorities for the IAC-MAI and the material and financial support which they formerly supplied have been considerably reduced : subsidies have been discontinued.

We should also add that the presence of numerous participants in the meeting rooms of the IAC-MAI produces considerable benefit to the country’s economy