The MAI/IAC (Maison des Associations Internationales – International Association Centre) is a public foundation established in 1982 in order to provide facilities to welcome and accommodate non-profit associations and NGO’S.
MAI is a fully functioning resource centre and meeting place offering a unique choice of affordable conference rooms equipped for simultaneous interpretation able to accommodate over 300 participants and adjacent rooms for smaller groups (25-30). The building is mainly divided in two parts, with the ground floor occupied by the meeting rooms and the upper floors reserved for offices.
Currently we host about fifteen tenants: international associations dealing with multiple issues, from migration to fair trade, from cosmetic and homeopathic products to heating and energy systems. International associations may rent office temporarily or permanently; otherwise they may request a postal address at the MAI (Rue Washington 40, 1050 Ixelles, Brussels).
The MAI team understood that in order to strengthen the presence, effectiveness and efficiency of international associations in the European capital, there is a need for a structured support system. Therefore, we have built an incubator for International associations to assist them by general support or in the move or the set-up of a branch in the European capital, as well as securing for them capital grants and funding. Steps are being taken to develop our role as incubator and community builder: one of our larger offices is being refurbished for start-ups to co-work and have access to all the facilities one would expect to find in a fully equipped and self-sufficient European association (directories, contact data bases and advice about setting up in Brussels, fundraising and lobbying with the EU).
MAI works closely together with sister organizations FAIB (Federation of international associations established in Belgium) and UIA (Union of international associations) housed in the same building. The FAIB with over 300 members provides advice and organises seminars on how to set up, run and promote international associations, whilst advocating on their behalf. The UIA is a world class institute providing access to data for researchers and policy makers and which produces the Yearbook of International organisations.
MAI is situated in the particularly welcoming and friendly Flagey-Chatelain-Bailli area of Brussels located just off Avenue Louise, benefiting from a calm and secluded atmosphere yet adjacent to the city’s business and financial district. This area is bursting with energy and is the main gathering point for young workers, trainees and students, because it is the perfect place to take a stroll, shop and go out: Place Flagey, Ixelles Ponds, Wednesday Châtelain market, Rue due Bailli, Horta Museum, Park Tenbosh, to name but a few. This area is really well-connected by public transport. The foundation is very much part of this local community to which the volunteer will be exposed through contacts with suppliers, clients and partner organisations.