Introduction

A Host Nation Policy (HNP) is a national strategy defined and implemented towards international governmental organisations which have HQ’s or a representation (mission, liaison office…) in Belgium, in order to to have them feel welcome and valued.

Host nation policy includes several elements which are of the competence of many Belgian instances at all levels of governance.

The host nation policy (HNP) is part of the Belgian foreign policy and it is thus coordinated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, and implemented by the Interministerial Committee for Host nation Policy (CIPS in French).

As far as the elements of the host nation policy which belong to the competence of the language-based communities and the geography-based regions are concerned, the consultations between the federal level and the federated entities take place in the framework of the consultation procedures for foreign relations which have been established after the revision of the Belgian constitution in1993. Consultation procedures have also been established with the local authorities that are competent for some important aspects of HNP.

The Belgian HNP includes two important parts:

  • the compliance by Belgium, as a host nation, to its obligations towards international organisations on its territory under international law, i.e. the granting of privileges and immunities
  • the hosting “as such”: that include all the actions which, besides and above the granting and implementation  of privileges and immunities, contribute to make Belgium more attractive for international organisations to establish their HQ’s.